Brandon annexation could limit livestock, raises taxes, and make landowners pay to pave roads

Brandon annexation could bring limitations, high price tag to farmers and landowners
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 7:07 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BRANDON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Many people dream of a life with more open space. Nicole Haug is the third generation living the dream on the farm.

“My grandparents moved out here in 1969. In 1975, that’s when Mom and Dad built their house which is this house that I currently live in. So I’ve basically been born and raised here my whole life,” said Haug.

When the city of Brandon representatives told residents on Chestnut Street and Redwood Boulevard that their area could be annexed, forcing them to pay for road paving, higher taxes, losing rural water and, limiting their livestock, it was not welcome news.

“It’s never been in our future. I guess we’ve just always planned on being ag and being rural and now it’s kind of getting thrown in our lap,” said Haug.

These families who bow hunt, tend to horses as a business, and have bonfires in the country would have to stop. Brandon City Administrator Bryan Read says it’s because the school system wants another location down the road to be built and open in the fall of 2025.

“The primary impetus for this annexation study is the development of the school plan and that’s it plain and simple,” said Read.

The livestock would be grandfathered in, but couldn’t be replaced, crippling horse stable businesses. Taking care of current livestock is also concerning.

“Horses’ water, things like that. So if they don’t have enough water to already take care of the brand and residents, I can’t exactly say sorry. No water today,” said Haug.

The study is being presented to the city council Monday, along with how much each homeowner could have to pay to have their street paved.

“It could be $20,000 to $40,000 up to a couple $100,000, depending on the size of the property,” said Read.

Haug’s estimate is much higher.

“For this, my section is $285,000. So basically for me, that’s a whole new second mortgage,” said Haug.

“Ultimately, if the two sides can’t agree, they can go to court,” said Read.

Instead of court, some homeowners hope to bring the item to a public vote.

“Basically, what the petition does is it’s putting a cap on the amount that Brandon can charge you. When they’re wanting to charge me 100% of paving the road, with this petition, they wouldn’t be able to do that,” said Haug.

The cap would limit homeowners to be limited in paying $2,500 for each improvement, such as a sidewalk or road paving in front of their property.

Haug says some of Brandon’s residents who were forced to have sidewalks installed and foot the bill were eager to sign, saying Brandon is no longer affordable.

“They said hey, we got to move in here because if this keeps going up, we can’t stay. And that’s really sad,” said Haug.

Copyright 2021 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.