The recent annexation of Weile Chevrolet has fueled conversation and a study about potential growth for the City of West Liberty.
Annexation of the automotive dealership, located northwest of town along Highway 6, was approved in September of 2023. Now other businesses in the area have taken notice.
“As you know Weile Chevrolet requested annexation,” said Mayor Ethan Anderson during a city council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 21. “We’re looking at extending some infrastructure out that way.”
During the same meeting the council voted to partner with Veenstra & Kimm on a study that would examine the possible extension of additional city utilities out to the area.
“We have additional businesses in that area looking at establishing utilities through the city,” City Manager Lee Geertz later told the Index. To do so, they will need to be within city limits.
This is achieved through annexation, a process by which a city municipality acquires new territory, most commonly by expanding its boundaries into adjacent land.
Homes and businesses that are annexed by the city gain access to city utilities, such as water, wastewater and electric services.
Meanwhile, the city expands its tax base to the new area. Those taxes go towards funding the day-to-day operation of the city, its departments and construction projects.
However, there’s also the opportunity to provide newly annexed businesses improvement opportunities through the city such as Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) and abatement programs.
“That gives us an opportunity for future growth,” Geertz said about possible future annexation, indicating a potential for more housing.
The study will give the city a better understanding into what will need to be done if more land is annexed near Weile Chevrolet in the future.
Specifically, it will examine extending a series of water lines that were recently built to support the construction of new residential housing located on the west side of town on Short Street.
Referred to as the West Side Loop, this study will look at the possibility of bringing that water line out even further to the land being discussed for annexation.
The West Side Loop was built with the idea that one day the City of West Liberty may extend its borders.
The current comprehension plan for the city aims to acquire land north of town for residential purposes and west of town for residential and commercial purposes.
However, the study with Veenstra & Kimm is not a final decision. Much more discussion about annexation will be required once the study is completed.