Annexation restrictions advanced

Restrictions on asset expenditures by sanitary and improvement districts (SIDs) that have received notice of annexation were advanced from general file Jan. 27.

Under LB131, introduced by Omaha Sen. Joni Craighead last session, expenditures by an SID would be restricted for 90 days upon receiving notification of a city or village’s intent to annex.

Craighead said that an SID is created with the expectation that it will be dissolved as a legal entity when annexed, so the bill would reduce the amount of risk taken on by cities proposing annexation.

An Urban Affairs Committee amendment, adopted 31-0 replaced the bill. Under the amendment, payments on construction bonds, construction fund warrants, general fund warrants and contracted labor and services would be exempt from the spending restriction.

Any proposed construction projects that have not been put to a public bidding process prior to receiving notice of annexation would be submitted to the city’s finance director for approval during the 90-day period.

Bellevue Sen. Sue Crawford, chairperson of the committee, said that SID spending prior to annexation was a high priority issue among SID concerns studied by the committee.

The bill advanced to select file on a 31-0 vote.

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