No Organized Opposition to McWoods Annexation But …

The McCormick Woods annexation committee is ready to move forward with a petition that could make McCormick Woods Urban Village a part of the City of Port Orchard. A story on the latest developments will run tomorrow.

While no organized opposition to the proposed annexation has emerged, at least one resident, Pat Lowery, has approached Bremerton city officials to gauge their interest in annexing McCormick Woods.

“From the very beginning, we got only one side of the story,” said Lowery. “’We’ve got to join Port Orchard and stay away from big, bad Bremerton.’ … My whole attitude on this was let’s look at both sides of the issue.”

Lowery does not favor a Bremerton annexation over Port Orchard, but he thinks residents should hear what Bremerton might have to offer. He e-mailed Mayor Cary Bozeman, who forwarded the inquiry to city council members.

“My guess is it’s probably premature for them or me to comment on this issue,” Bozeman said. “We’ve been pretty much preoccupied with the SKIA issue.”

Bremerton has accepted a proposal to annex from property owners in the 3,400-acre South Kitsap Industrial Area. Port Orchard has been pressing for the right to provide sewer service to the area, slated for industrial development.

Bremerton City Council President Will Maupin said the council has in the past discussed the possibility of a McCormick Woods annexation. But the consensus was that its location — in South Kitsap — made it more logically affiliated with Port Orchard.

McCormick Woods Urban Village is eligible for annexation into Bremerton because The Ridge at McCormick Woods, a development on the north side of Old Clifton Road, is contiguous with a large parcel of land within the city of Bremerton, now under development.

Hypothetically speaking, Maupin said, Bremerton would be open to considering a McCormick Woods annexation, provided a financial analysis showed revenues and expenditures “pencil out” for the city.

“If they were interested in being annexed into Bremerton and approached us with a petition, we would certainly analyze the situation,” Maupin said. “If it were going to be a big burden on the rest of the people of Bremerton, we probably wouldn’t do that.”

Because McCormick Woods is a relatively affluent urban growth area, the balance of property tax revenue to expenditures for police services would probably be advantageous to the city, Maupin said.

He added, however, that Bremerton would not try to derail a McCormick Woods-Port Orchard match-up. Referencing Port Orchard’s increasingly aggressive stance on the SKIA sewer issue, he said, “We would not and have not said a word about the current annexation into Port Orchard, and we won’t. Port Orchard has been causing problems with our annexation of SKIA, which isn’t anywhere near Port Orchard.”

Annexation committee member Dick Davis said he doesn’t believe there is significant support among McCormick Woods residents for a Bremerton annexation. But Lowery, and whoever else may be a of similar mind, has committee members feeling uneasy.

“I don’t know how large it is. Maybe it’’s a group of one,” said Davis. “I think it is, but I don’t think you want to ignore this thing. It creates seeds of doubt.”

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