On Tuesday, August 28, the City of Ballwin presented a map plan to the St. Louis County Boundary Commission at a public hearing. Submitting this plan does not obligate the City to annex all or any of the included areas, but without a submitted map the City cannot pursue any annexation possibilities in the next five years. Residents can view this map online.
Over the past few years, Ballwin has received an unprecedented number of inquires about the possibility of annexing various parts of unincorporated St. Louis County near our boundary lines. Mayor Tim Pogue said, “I’ve been mayor for 10 years in Ballwin, and I’ve received more requests for annexation in the last year than I have in the previous 9 years combined.”
Interest is Growing
The City of Ballwin knows these types of inquiries are a positive sign. They show our community is doing something right. Our residents consistently tell us this is a great place to live and raise a family and the rest of the region is taking notice.
While growth can be exciting, there are a lot of logistical aspects to consider before Ballwin can move forward with any annexation plan and many questions which need to be answered.
Cost vs. Benefit
Updating Ballwin’s Blueprint (the City’s Comprehensive Plan) in 2018 has been a helpful resource in the annexation process. The firm hired to conduct this plan is also completing an in-depth cost-benefit analysis of various annexation possibilities. This analysis will heavily impact the City’s decision to move forward with any annexation. The City has no interest in annexing new areas simply for the sake of growth. It is not Ballwin’s intention to negatively impact any of our current and valued residents.
For this reason residents can rest assured no tax increases are scheduled with the possibility of annexation. Ballwin has boasted a $0.00 property tax for the last 30 years and has no plans to increase this rate for the sake of annexation.
The Ballwin post office covers a larger portion than our city limits which leaves many residents with the belief they live in the City of Ballwin when in reality they live in unincorporated St. Louis County. The best way to check if you’re a true Ballwin resident is to look on your gas, sewer, water, or electric bill. A small utility tax is indicated and will specify which entity receives that tax. If it says City of Ballwin, congratulations. You’re a true Ballwin resident.
The annexation process is not a quick one. After initially submitting the map to the Boundary Commission on July 1, 2018 a municipality must wait an extended period of time before taking any further action, present to the commission, host public hearings, and more. This buffer is built in to allow residents time to consider how the process might affect their homes and neighborhoods.
The STL Boundary Commission will notify Ballwin if the map plan was approved or denied by April 30, 2019.
What’s in it for Ballwin?
For those already living in Ballwin, you may be wondering what’s in it for you? Why expand and potentially burden City resources? Why change what’s working? The answer is simple. Ballwin is ready. Chief Kevin Scott said it best in an interview about how annexation would affect Ballwin policing, “It’s an easy transition for us. We’re built for expansion.”
A small utility tax and pool sales tax in the annexed area would mean increased revenue for the City, allowing us to provide more of the services you already know and love.
Current residents would see no negative impact to their services. In fact with a larger population and increased revenue, residents would likely notice a positive change to their services and expansion of Ballwin parks and amenities.
When you’re part of something good, you want to share it with others. Ballwin believes in offering great service and we’re excited to potentially offer that service to more people in the future.
Learn more about the annexation process by visiting the STL Boundary Commission's website.