Commission Chairman Bill Simonds spoke out against the latest Blue Ridge City annexation at the commission meeting this week. Blue Ridge is proposing an annexation that will stretch from the highway 60 junction, along highway 515, to the Gilmer County line.
“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do,”
Simonds said during the September 11th meeting, adding,
“The City of Blue Ridge is just good right where they are at.”
Simonds went on to cite a previous annexation by the city of Blue Ridge next to the marina.
“If we annex this one,”
“they’re probably going to wind up wanting to annex us.”
During the meeting, Simonds was asked if the county would issue an official statement on its position.
“We let our thoughts be known to the Speaker of the House and we have it in the working”
Simonds responded. The Blue Ridge City Council, however, did not discuss the issue during its meeting later in the evening. Mayor Donna Whitener told FYN, however, she was under the impression that Commissioner Simonds was in complete agreement with the city’s proposed Annexation. She confirmed that the city has contacted Speaker Ralston. When asked what role Ralston has in the annexation, Whitener explained that annexations are required to go through the legislative process. As such the highway 515 annexation will likely come before next Legislature.
In the end, Simonds stated he was against the annexation and encouraged the community to speak out against the city of Blue Ridge’s proposed takeover of highway 515, if they were concerned about it.