Subdivision annexation passes |

Subdivision annexation passes

BRECKENRIDGE – The town of Breckenridge soon will grow by about 450 people after voters in Warrior’s Mark and Warrior’s Mark West cast their ballots in favor of incorporating their subdivisions into the town Tuesday. The vote was 212 for annexation to 162 against.

The incorporation will take effect after the town council adopts an ordinance approving the annexation and setting a date for the neighborhoods’ inclusion into the town.

“I am ecstatic to be a Breckenridge resident and be able to participate,” said Alison Palmer, who fought in favor of the annexation. “I think we had a very good shot at it. I’m excited people participated; it shows the potential our community can contribute.”

It wasn’t an easy battle. Residents from both camps held meetings and canvassed their neighborhoods educating residents about the pros and cons of annexation and encouraging people to register to vote.

Voters turned down a similar initiative in 1996 by a vote of 116-102. Annexation proponents blamed time-share unit owners of skewing the vote, as each one – potentially up to 50 owners per unit – was allowed to cast a ballot. This time, proponents excluded Woods Manor from the map of the area proposed to be incorporated into the town and included the Warrior’s Mark West area along White Cloud Drive.

As new residents of the town of Breckenridge, Warrior’s Mark residents will pay in-town rates at town facilities, including the golf course, ice rinks, recreation center and Gold Hill Nordic Center. They also will pay slightly higher property taxes and new taxes associated with lodging, utilities and real estate sales.

“It’s great,” said Carol Rockne, another proponent. “I think it’s long overdue. We should have been part of Breckenridge since day one. But the town was very poor at that time and couldn’t supply water to Warrior’s Mark. Ever since, it seems like we haven’t been part of Breckenridge, and we’re an important part.”

That was a major argument posited by the pro-annexation camp. Many residents work or own businesses in town yet can’t participate in town elections or on boards. Geographically, the area is bordered by the town on almost all sides, making it a natural fit at the south end of town.

Many said they are glad the election is over and that they are ready to move on.

“I want the neighborhood to come together and look at all the positives that have come of this,” Rockne said. “I’ve met more people than I’ve ever known because of this. We had a goal; we were against “that group,’ but not today. We’ve laid down the swords and see each other as people who love our neighborhood. We don’t walk away with negatives. We walk away with all positives. This has shocked me how many people have come out and shown they care about this neighborhood.”

Jackie Dobbs, whose husband, Stanley, opposed the annexation, agreed.

“Right from the beginning, I didn’t want to be a part of this,” she said. “We have so many good friends up here. This neighborhood is the most fantastic neighborhood we have ever lived in. I said this was going to pit neighbor against neighbor, so I was anxious for it to be over because of all the controversy. One way or the other, we’ll live with it. It won’t be bad being a part of town.”

“I’m going to be happy up here in my house on White Cloud Drive regardless,” said Bob Behmer, who was against the annexation. “I think there was a lot of interest on both sides, and the voters received a lot of factual information. They’ve made their decision as very well-informed voters.”

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