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LLC gives an update on annexation

By, Makenna Mays
With relative silence on the topic of annexation at recent Brookville Town Council meetings, the Tuesday, September 10 meeting was a change of pace.
Two representatives from the Brook Hill Golf Club LLC, Tim Brack and Larry Lunsford, attended the meeting to give an update on some information they had recently collected.
Roughly two months ago, the LLC came to the town board interested in annexation. They have had meetings to gauge public interest and sent some mail outs for those unable to attend the meetings. Brack and Lunsford presented the town with the “yes” and “no” votes from the petitions they have received thus far. There were also surveys sent out to test the waters on what people’s feelings were regarding the annexation.
“The process is not completely done yet,” said Brack. “We still have some people that have not given us their intentions yet.”
Brack said their goal all along was to let everyone have a say in this situation. There was a bit of confusion as it was stated in past BTC minutes that those against the annexation should not fill out the petition and it would be counted as a “no” vote. Some people who received the petitions and were against the annexation therefore discarded the petitions.
“We still want everybody’s voice to be heard whether it’s a no or a yes,” said Brack.
Brack said people still have questions and are on the fence regarding their stance.
“When we still have people, who are still calling us with questions and still on the fence, we don’t know who’s on the fence and who’s a “no” and who’s a ‘yes,’” said Brack.
They are also still working out some logistics as there are some people in the area who own property but don’t live there. This means their properties are listed but not the resident address where the petitions should be sent.
Lunsford said that for the information they currently have it is 2:1 yes to no for the annexation. However, he knows that there are a lot of people who are against the annexation and they just don’t have that data.
Brack said if they move forward and they don’t get any more petitions signed as “yes” they will count as a “no”. However, it just doesn’t satisfy the LLC in terms of making sure everyone is heard.
“We understand that it is a no vote if we don’t get any more petitions in,” said Brack. “That’s the way they will be counted.”
The current process for the LLC as they understand it is they are handing over the petitions as they get them, giving them to the town, and the town will take them to their consultants and see if annexation makes sense and is feasible. They want to be wrapped up in the next few weeks, but emphasized they wanted to make sure everyone’s voice was heard.
“I don’t disrespect anyone’s views. We have our reasons why we think this is a viable thing for the town, and you all have your reasons, and at the end of the day, it’s either going to happen or it’s not going to happen,” said Brack.
Lunsford said he and Brack were open to answering a few questions, but didn’t want a debate. A question was posed about why the LLC chose to use a P.O. Box, but before the question could fully get out, someone interrupted and both Brack and Lunsford chose to leave.
BTC President Mike Biltz said people could speak to Brack and Lunsford outside if they wished to. That wrapped up the majority of annexation talk until the end of the meeting when it opened up for public comment.
Some in the room felt little progress was made saying everything felt rushed, there was no clarity of information, and at this point, a decision shouldn’t be made.
“With all respect to everyone in this room, I don’t feel there was any progress made in the annexation discussion today,” said Victoria Meyer.
A few questioned if the data presented by the LLC would be public information to which the board responded their attorney Tammy Davis would look into it.
“When this whole process began, I think it was the intention of the board to only possibly move forward with annexation if 51 percent of the people were in favor,” said Biltz. “I guess it’s my feeling that that’s what we said then and that’s probably what we feel now.”
Scott Stirn suggested the town set a date to when this whole thing needs to be concluded because everyone is in limbo. Biltz also suggested that those against the annexation go directly to the LLC and have a meeting to ask questions. He reiterated the town doesn’t deal with the LLC as a group at this point and only hear from them when the attend meetings.
“Somebody’s got to reach out to someone and whether it’s you guys reaching out to them to say ‘we want a meeting because we want some answers’ then that’s what you guys should do,” said Biltz.