City of Wenatchee Tells Chelan Co. to Cease Annexation Requests
Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz has informed Chelan County that he doesn’t want it to accept any more requests for annexation into the city.
Kuntz says the annexation process has become too complicated, time-consuming and cost prohibitive for the city.
“Quite frankly, most of these residential areas, when you annex them in, there’s not enough tax revenue to cover the cost of providing services,” explained Kuntz.
Chelan County Commissioner Bob Bugert says Kuntz approached him about the issue last week and has asked that the county not consider any pending or future requests for annexation until further notice.
“He has strongly suggested to me that it’s not worth the effort for us (Chelan County) to do any kind of an interlocal agreement as far as long-term approaches for management of annexations,” said Bugert. “And he added that he (Kuntz) is discouraged with the boundary review board. It was a difficult discussion.”
Kuntz says he also declined to enter into a proposed agreement with the county regarding annexation.
“The county has asked for a pre-annexation agreement which I deem to be a very complicated agreement regarding revenue sharing.”
Kuntz adds the decision to cut ties with the county on annexations was not taken, nor made lightly.
“The city has thought long and hard about this and we’ve decided it’s not in the best interest of the city or its staff to continue with these annexations in the way that they’re taking place.”
Both Kuntz and Bugert confirm that any annexations that were already being processed prior to the city’s decision will be seen through until finalized.