There’s a new day ahead for Navarre.
A day when people living here are in control of our community’s land development, economic growth, traffic, road paving, and government spending.
A day when our children will go to college, get a high-paying job, and live, thrive and prosper right here — in what would be the city of Navarre.
Establishing a new city is a significant undertaking with far-reaching effects. So, right from the start, those of us serving on the Navarre Area United committee are dedicated to keeping voters informed and up to date on the process and progress of the proposed incorporation. Thank you for your interest.
Let’s begin with the proposed boundaries, our petition drive, and who will be eligible to vote.
The proposed city limits encompass precincts 26, 29, 34, 35, 38, and 40. Holley (precinct 10) is not within the proposed boundaries. A map of the area is available for viewing at our website, www.naupac.org.
The population of our new city would be approximately 42,000: Plenty large enough to attract new businesses and employers, yet small enough to maintain our community’s hometown atmosphere and neighborly ways.
The path to incorporation begins with collecting 2,844 signed petitions from voters living within the proposed city limits; 8 percent of registered voters in each precinct. The petition calls for a non-binding referendum.
A grassroots drive is now underway to obtain the required signatures. If you live within the boundaries and are a registered voter, please download a copy of the petition from our website, complete and sign it, and then return it to us at the address detailed online.
Signing a petition does not obligate a voter to support or oppose the proposed incorporation. Following a successful petition drive, a non-binding referendum will be on the election ballot in August 2020.
Once on the ballot, 60 percent plus one vote is needed from voters within the boundaries to advance the proposed incorporation initiative to state Rep. Jayer Williamson, who will draft and submit proposed legislation. Once approved by state lawmakers, it would again be put before local voters for final approval.
In conjunction with the petition drive, Navarre Area United will commission a comprehensive incorporation feasibility study. The findings will be presented online and at public meetings, where we will welcome and encourage public input.
The study will take three to four months to complete. It will provide the answers to many questions, such as all sources of revenue available to the proposed city, including how much revenue the new city would receive from the state, and what funds would need to come from the local level.
What’s more, it will address a projected five-year city budget, potential services, and benefits offered. The document will conclude with a professional assessment of whether or not Navarre is ready to stand as a municipal entity at this time.
The study will be ready at least six months before voting takes place, giving voters ample time to evaluate both costs and benefits.
Once voters have scrutinized the study’s findings — and it passes muster — public input will be sought to help create a proposed city charter and determine the services our fledgling city would provide.
We are optimistic about the feasibility study and what it will find. We pray that you will keep an open mind while the study is underway and consider its findings before taking a position.
Navarre is growing. It will grow no matter what we do. Incorporation gives us a powerful tool to control growth before it takes control of us.
Through incorporation, we will attract the shopping, goods, and services we now have to seek elsewhere, expand our job market with career opportunities, and have local control of our government and community.
Please keep up to date with our progress at www.naupac.org, as well as on Facebook. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Jonathan Cole is chairman of Navarre Area United Political Action Committee. You can reach him at info@ www.naupac.org.