Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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April 5, 2013

Family responds to annexation dispute

PLAINFIELD — Denny Grundy responded to an article in the March 30 Hendricks County Flyer regarding his family farm being annexed into Plainfield. While the Grundys had fought involuntary annexation into Avon, they offered no resistance when Plainfield later took them under its jurisdiction.

The Plainfield Town Council voted unanimously to annex the Grundy family farm at its March 25 meeting. The property is about 125 acres in the southeast corner of Washington Township near Perry Road. The Grundys signed a voluntary annexation with Plainfield.

Last fall, Avon's town council considered annexing the Grundys' property against their wishes. In an e-mail from Grundy, he wrote that Avon did not "consider" annexing his land but rather "drove a stake in the ground" by starting the legal process to involuntarily annex his property - first with a certified letter and then by a legally-required public hearing.

"We exercised our legal right and told Avon that we would remonstrate if they passed an involuntary annexation ordinance," Grundy wrote.

He disputed Washington Township Trustee Don Hodson's assertion that such involuntary annexation is essential to protecting Washington Township's tax base for fire protection. Having property taken by a municipality outside of the township would dilute the tax base, Hodson said at Avon's public hearing.

"With another town annexing inside Washington Township, the responsibility to provide fire services for that property goes with the town that annexed the property," Grundy wrote in response. "Therefore, with decreased responsibility, Washington Township Fire Department would/could/should downsize to fit their lessened responsibility, therefore possibly lowering the taxes of the remaining township residences."

In a letter published in the Nov. 10 Flyer, Grundy wrote that Avon attempted to annex his farm about six years earlier, and only stopped after he told officials the farm would remain an agricultural operation. He further clarified via e-mail, "Avon dropped their attempt only after we asked Plainfield to send a letter to Avon stating that Plainfield would not involuntary annex our property. For the current attempt, we asked for Plainfield to again send a letter to Avon stating that Plainfield would not involuntary annex our property, which they did. We received no response from Avon."

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