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February 02, 2010 06:00 PM

Voters Line Up To Decide On Annexation

By this time Wednesday, the city of Sturgis could grow by more than 1800 acres. Voting is underway to determine whether the city will annex land east of town.  It's been a subject of debate in the rally town since April, and voters are expecting a close race at the polls.

City leaders say annexing the area of land and some businesses east of Sturgis will bring in additional tax dollars, particularly from the motorcycle rally.

"That's simply what we're trying to do is to be responsive to the needs of the citizens, and if we can get more benefit out of the rally, I think everybody is happy with that," City Manager Dave Boone said.

Take one look at the signs scattered throughout town and it's obvious the decision isn't unanimous. Voters who lined up to have their say will tell you the same thing.

"I think it's great to see the people and I think there are a lot of people who have got an opinion on it. I'm voting no. I'll be honest with you. I think it's not the thing to do right now," Gene Goff said.

Goff says the city has enough problems without making it bigger. Tom Berger also opposes the expansion.

"I like Sturgis the size it is, and they're trying to make it a big city a big, pretty, fancy city to make them feel like big shots. Well, I don't like that a bit and I think a lot of other people don't because they've expressed this to me," Berger said.

Others like Mary Cudmore believe revenue from the proposed area could benefit future city projects.

"I think it will help with more taxes coming in from them.  It's time to do something for the city instead of something for the rally," Cudmore said.

"Ultimately, the people get to decide and by definition the people are always right, so we'll see what they have to say," Boone said.

The polls are open until 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Sturgis Community Center.

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