- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

GREENWOOD, Ark. (AP) - A homeowners group in a western Arkansas city is asking a court to remove an annexation proposal from the November ballot.

The Shadow Lake Estates Property Owners Association is suing the city of Greenwood, the Times Record reported (http://bit.ly/1vAGaeF ). The suit claims the city didn’t follow required steps related to the annexation proposal and showed favoritism to certain property owners by excluding them from being added to Greenwood.

The plaintiff is asking the Sebastian County Circuit Court to issue an injunction so the annexation ordinance won’t be on the Nov. 4 ballot. If the measure is approved by voters, some properties north and west of Greenwood would be deemed part of the city.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday with Greenwood City Attorney Mike Hamby.

The Greenwood City Council approved eight annexation ballot measures during a special meeting in August. Before that meeting, the annexation proposal was a single, blanket annexation question that needed another review by the council, the lawsuit said.

The Greenwood Annexation Committee had examined the potential for annexation for more than a year and recommended the City Council let voters decide next month. It said Greenwood would get an additional $200,000 in state turnback taxes based on the increased population.

The state of Arkansas “turns back” a portion of the money it collects to cities and counties based on local populations.

According to the property owners’ association, about 80 percent of the 187 Shadow Lake residents have said they’re opposed to being included as a part of Greenwood.

Shadow Lake resident Carol Simpson asked the City Council in August to rethink the annexation ordinance.

“We feel a forced annexation, even though going through the election process, is not the way to bring new areas into the city,” she said. “We strongly feel our taxes will significantly rise, and the level of service that we receive from the city will be far less than what we currently receive from the county.”

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Information from: Southwest Times Record, http://www.swtimes.com/

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