MANCHESTER, Mo. — St. Louis County Executive Sam Page spoke Wednesday about the city of Manchester’s proposal to expand its city boundaries by annexing dozens of homes.
The city of Manchester presented a map in 2018 of its proposals to the boundary commission. It’s a long-drawn-out process to try and enlarge the city boundaries by taking over parts of the unincorporated St. Louis County area.
On Wednesday, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page opposed the Manchester annexation plan while Manchester’s mayor wants the voters to have a say.
“This area that is proposed to be annexed has really good police services at a really good value,” said Sam Page, St. Louis County Executive. “If they become a part of this municipality, two things will happen, your taxes will increase, and St. Louis County police will no longer provide service, their services which have a strong track record in this region. In addition to the track record, St. Louis County brings a lot of specialized services to policing.”
Manchester had its public hearing before the boundary commission on June 29. Manchester and St. Louis County are required to submit comments by July 18 to the boundary commission, regarding what services, what they provide, and how things would be affected.
“The boundary commission has the power to say thumbs down, it’s not deserving of a vote, or they can say this is a valid decision and it needs to be determined by the voters,” said Michael Clement, mayor of the city of Manchester. “There’d be two groups of voters who would vote unincorporated St. Louis County we’re seeking to annex and the existing residents that live in Manchester. The strongest argument we’re making is it deserves to be voted on by the residents and not taken away from us.”
There are 6,500 residents that live in the unincorporated area being considered for annexation. Manchester wants to annex the area east of Highway 141, north of Carman Road, west of Barret Station Road, and south of Queeny Park.
“I understand why Manchester is interested in this area,” said Page. “But I don’t think it’s a good deal for the residents and that’s why I’m speaking up. I do think that our St. Louis County Police Department is doing a really good job in policing this area, and it will be disruptive to their operations in west St. Louis County.”
“Well, 11,000 of us out of a city of 18,000 are here because of annexations in 1997 and 1999,” said Clement. “So, we really know the value that life gets better in a smaller community.”
The boundary commission will take comments until the end of the week and then they have to review everything. The city of Manchester is hoping to know by September or October, if they can move forward and put this on the January 2023 ballot.