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Trinity Center Community Services District

Covington Mill, Lake Forest Estates, Long Canyon and Ridgeville subdivisions
2009-2010 Annexation Project

In December 2010, the TCCSD annexed property along Hwy 3 from Trinity Center down to Cedar Stock. The annex included the communities of Covington Mill, Lake Forest Estates, Long Canyon, Strope Creek, Estrellita Estates, and Ridgeville. This was a large annexation, more than tripling the size of the district. The annexation was initiated at the request of those communities, and was the result of a lot of work by citizens of both the then-current district as well as the annex area.

At the January 2009 TCCSD Board meeting, citizens from Covington Mill, Lake Forest Estates, Long Canyon and Ridgeville subdivisions approached the TCCSD board requesting annexation. The board formed an ad hoc committee of board members and community representatives to research the issues and gauge community support. The community representatives on the committee were Mary Hamilton, Luke Lucas, Hal Mathis, Mike Mayo, and Dean Tackett. The board committee included Virginia Allin and Mike McHugh. The remaining board members were Glen Ahmann (chairman), Dewey Baird and Hal Pflueger.

Participation by the community was first and foremost a requirement. Investigating the issues and determining community sentiment both in-district as well as in the annex area was of paramount concern to the board. Having the research done by representatives of the communities in the existing district as well as the annex area was the only way to achieve the necessary support of all stakeholders.

The committee met several times to determine the issues of concern. After a few meetings, the committee produced a "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) document to address issues raised by the community. The document was first published to the community in June 2009, and was updated periodically as information was gathered.

At each monthly TCCSD Board meeting since early 2009, an annexation committee report was presented. Discussion about issues and the results of the committee research were discussed by the board and questions from the public were entertained. All annexation information was available to the public for inspection at a local business and on the community website, www.northtrinitylake.com. See TCCSD minutes...

In the summer of 2009, the TCCSD Board directed the annexation committee to gauge community support for an annexation. Beginning at the 2009 Labor Day Barbecue and Rummage Sale, signatures representing support were gathered from registered voters in the TCCSD, registered voters in the proposed annex area, and non-registered property owners in both areas.

From the very first meeting at which annexation was discussed, the citizens of the annex made it clear that they were willing to tax themselves to "pay their fair share." The committee discovered that the revenue structure of the district was already partially funded by the annex area residents. Therefore, the board determined that no new assessments would be required. The annex area citizens then decided to raise funds to cover the costs of annexation. In the end, the annexation cost the district nothing due to the outstanding response of the community to the fundraising efforst spearheaded by the annex communities.

The Trinity Center Volunteer Fire Department (TCVFD) had been providing fire protection and emergency medical services to the proposed annex area for many years. As a result, there was little, if any financial impact on the district for proceeding with the annexation. In fact, the annex area had been supporting the TCVFD with fundraising for years, even holding their own, local fundraising events.

More importantly, the citizens of the annex area had been volunteering to serve on the staff of the TCVFD for many years. At the time of the annexation, the Assistant Chief, the Chief Medical Officer, and two firefighter/EMT volunteers resided in the annex area. Those volunteers made up fully 1/3 of the TCVFD staff. Additionally, two Firefighter Emergency Assistance Team (FEAT,) including the FEAT team leader, resided in the annex.

Five community town hall meetings were held where input was gathered from the public. On September 1, 2009, a letter was sent out to all property owners in the proposed annex area, as well as owners in the current TCCSD. The letter informed property owners of the requested annexation, the petition drive, and website references. The final town hall meeting was held in the IOOF Hall on February 18, 2010 with a formal presentation.

After well over a year of good work, the results were brought to the board at a special meeting in May 2010. Upon consideration of all evidence and testimony, the TCCSD Board unanimously adopted Resolution 2010-02 and directed the filing of an application to the County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) to annex certain parcels to the TCCSD. As of the date of application, May 19, 2010, the signature drive had gathered 56.5% of existing TCCSD voters, 60.5% of annex area voters, and an additional 82 non-registered property owners. To a large extent, the signatures not gathered were unavailable due to travel or part-time residency.

Prior to adopting the annexation resolution, the TCCSD Board approved submission to LAFCo of a Sphere of Influence update document. This key document reflects the modern sphere of influence of TCCSD, and along with its companion Municipal Service Review input document, provides an in-depth overview of the TCCSD and the TCVFD. These documents showed that the TCVFD is very capable of continuing to provide service to the annex communities, as it had for literally decades.

LAFCo held a public hearing on the TCCSD application on October 26, 2010 at the Weaverville Public Library conference room. Upon review of the TCCSD Sphere of Influence update and the Annexation Application, LAFCo unanimously approved the annexation subject to the outcome of the procedurally required Convening Authority Protest Hearing to be held in Trinity Center.

The Protest Hearing was held at the Trinity Center IOOF Hall on November 30, 2010. Some 25 residents of the existing district and the annex area attended. LAFCo Executive Director John Jelicich explained the process and solicited any further input on the annexation from the public. No protests were raised. As a result, Mr. Jelicich determined that all procedural elements of the annexation had been completed.

On December 21, 2010, the LAFCo Certificate of Completion was filed with the Trinity County Recorder, thereby activiting the new district boundary.

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