Saddle Lake annexation bill likely passing House
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – The Alabama House of Representatives likely will pass a bill on April 1 to pave the way for residents of the Saddle Lake Farms to determine if they will be annexed into Alabaster, according to state Rep. Mike Hill, R-Columbiana.
Hill said the Shelby County House of Representatives delegation passed the bill out of committee on March 20, and said the bill likely will be passed by the full House on April 1.
“I would say the full House will support it since it’s local legislation,” Hill said during a March 20 interview. “The best I can tell, there’s no opposition.”
The Alabama Senate passed the bill on March 19, moving it on to the House for consideration.
If passed by the House and signed by the governor, the bill will annex an about 40-acre piece of property adjacent to Saddle Lake Farms into Alabaster, making the neighborhood contiguous to Alabaster city limits.
If the legislative annexation is approved, it would allow Saddle Lake residents to begin a petition to annex into Alabaster. If the petition receives the required number of signatures, neighborhood residents could then present the petition to the Alabaster City Council to consider.
If the council receives the petition with the required number of signatures, it likely will vote on the matter during its April 14 or April 28 meeting, council members said previously.
If the City Council passes a resolution supporting the annexation, Shelby County Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister will set an election date within 40 days of the council’s action, according to Alabaster City Manager George Henry.
Saddle Lake, which is off Massey Road and contains about 200 homes, currently is in unincorporated Shelby County.
State Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, who sponsored the Senate bill, said the bill “does not force anyone into the city limits,” and said the bill will allow residents to vote on the matter.
The annexation issue has sparked debate among Saddle Lake residents, as some said they want to annex into Alabaster to be a part of the Alabaster City School System and others said they do not want to annex for financial and taxation reasons.
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