Annexation incorrect, attorney says
At least two of the signs welcoming motorists to Tonganoxie soon will be moved.
That's because they're not really in the city limits.
Last January, Tonganoxie City Council members approved annexation of state right of way along U.S. Highway 24-40 and Kansas Highway 16. Later, the city installed "welcome to Tonganoxie" signs on those rights of way.
But after hearing from downtown business owner Roger Shilling on Monday, city attorney Mike Crow agreed that the city couldn't legally annex the right of way on the north side of 24-40 on the east side of town or on the east side of the highway on the south side of town.
"We need to correct this," Crow said.
Crow said the annexations of the narrow strips of right of way created isolated fingers of city land, which is illegal.
The attorney said he believes the city can correct the problem by repealing the annexation ordinance, adopted Jan. 8.
"We'll get it straightened out," he said.
According to state statute, the city cannot annex right of way unless land on one side or both sides of the right of way already is in city limits.
Shilling also questioned annexation of right of way on the south side of Kansas Highway 16, on the city's west side.
Crow said he wanted to research that issue, adding that the annexation may have been legal because land on the north side of the state highway is in the city.
"That's a different situation from the other two," he said. "It would appear that one is OK, but I'll check it out. We have to correct the other two."
"Correct the other two, and we'll argue about the third one," Shilling said, smiling.
Shilling was concerned about the matter, he said, because the city sign is in front of land he owns on 24-40 east of Tonganoxie.
"I want the signs moved back to the city limits," he said.