“Under current law, the final say lies with the county executive in establishing a town. This bill shifts that power into the hands of the people,” said Rep. Price. “Giving our neighbors the power to express their views on this is especially important for the growth of our towns across the state.”
HB 1186 states that the incorporation of a town may be started by filing a written petition with the county executive of the county that contains the majority of the area of the proposed town. The petition must be signed by at least 10 percent of the owners of land in the area of the proposed town instead of the 50 individuals currently needed to drive the issue of incorporation.
If the county executive finds that the petition satisfies the legal requirements, the county executive will either adopt an ordinance incorporating the town or adopt a resolution to place a public question concerning incorporation on the ballot.
If the majority of voters vote “no” on the public referendum regarding the incorporation, another petition for incorporation of the same area cannot be filed until two years after said election.
“Giving a voice to those involved in the process ensures a more supportive community,” Rep. Frizzell said. “People should be proud of the area they represent – they chose to live there and should have a voice in decisions that directly affect them.”
The bill now proceeds to the Senate for further discussion and debate. Senator Rod Bray (R- Martinsville) will sponsor the bill.
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