Future Rutledge plans may include I-20 annexation

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By Nick Nunn staff writer

Morgan County Attorney Christian Henry stated during the meeting that the bond proposition is “seemingly complex” but that the procedure is simply a “mechanism” through During the work session of the Rutledge City Council held on Saturday, Jan. 11, council members discussed the possibility of extending Rutledge’s city limits southward to Exit 105 of I-20 in order to be able to be part of projected commercial expansion near the interstate once the Stanton Springs development nears completion in several years.

Rutledge City Clerk Debbie Rutherford stated that the annexation of the land between Rutledge’s current city limits and the interstate would require the consent of each homeowner that would be involved by the change.

“Annexation is a lengthy process,” said Rutherford. Rutledge Mayor James Bratcher noted that the best way to get homeowners interested in being taken into the city limits of Rutledge would be to show the citizens the benefits that they would receive from being part of Rutledge.

“I bet there’s more people interested in that than you’d think,” said council member Tim Smith.

Although Bratcher indicated that annexation is something that the city should be looking toward, it will not be a major project in the near future.

“That’s something to put on the backburner,” said Bratcher.

Bruce Altznauer, council member, brought up a collapsed portion of sidewalk in front of Rutledge Baptist Church, which includes a missing grate that “a child could fall into.”

Bratcher stated that the city would “take care of that immediately.”

Council Member Chad Cook suggested that the council look into the cost of repairing all of the broken sidewalks in the city.

Altznauer agreed with Cook, saying that there is no “consistency” among Rutledge’s sidewalks, but that he is more concerned with the possible safety issues.

Bratcher said that they would begin to look into the cost of repairing sidewalks in Rutledge, asking the council members to inform him of anything they noticed in the city that could pose a safety issue. “Anything you see, don’t hesitate,” said Bratcher.

The council also discussed the removal of temporary signage along the roadways in Rutledge. Cook recommended that temporary signs must be approved by the council before being allowed on the sidewalks and right of ways in the city limits.

Rutherford stated that the city’s current sign ordinances deal with all signs in the city limits and should be consulted for regulations concerning them.

Rutherford also gave an update on the city’s proposed Senior Tax Exemption, which would give a tax credit of approximately $37 per household for Rutledge’s senior citizens each year.

Rutherford said that Doug Holt has the bill ready to present to the General Assembly, and he wanted the Rutledge city council to look over it before he gives it to the assembly.

Altznauer asked the council if there is any plan to install signage near and paint the city’s road humps. Bratcher indicated that road hump improvements would begin as soon as the weather improves.

Council members then stated that they still receive complaints about the speed humps by non-citizens of Rutledge, to which Cook responded, “If you’re going the speed limit, you’ll have no problem.” The regular meeting of the Rutledge City Council will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m.

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