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The truth about the South Heart annexation

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I would like to thank the South Heart residents for expressing their concerns at the public hearing at the last South Heart City Council meeting. Many people attend public hearings to get informed on currect proposed projects, not necessarily because they are opposed. I would also like to provide additional information.

The Fryburg oil railroad spur, the South Heart transload facility/rail spur located 5 miles west of South Heart and approved by the Stark County Commission in December, the Bakken Oil Express rail spur located approximately 7 miles east of South Heart, and the Dakota Prairie Refinery located approximately 6 miles east of South Heart are all industrial projects that required rezoning from agricultural to industrial.

These projects benefit Stark County but not the city of South Heart.

The proposed South Heart annexation would provide South Heart with potential revenue from:

-- Use tax revenue projected yearly between $3 million and $5 million;

-- additional sales tax paid to local vendors;

-- additional property tax revenue, more than $70,000 annually;

-- and good-paying jobs.

The company is paying 100 percent of the total cost of sewer, water, streets, lighting, snow removal and security of this annexation. Many housing subdivisions tax special assessments back to the residents who purchase lots, whereas this project will not do that.

Don Schmeling is opposing this project. Schmeling will not be receiving any real estate commissions from this annexation. Schmeling represented many clients where property required rezoning. This annexation/project is located directly south of Schmeling’s property. In my opinion, this is why Schmeling is opposing it.

If South Heart doesn’t annex this property, will Belfield, Dickinson or Stark County receive the benefits instead of South Heart? Let’s hope the city council votes to keep the benefits of this proposed project to make improvements in South Heart, which can improve the quality of life for South Heart residents and the surrounding community.

Jerry Wagner,

South Heart

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