HAMILTON COUNTY – The city of Fishers is considering the annexation of neighborhoods in southeastern Hamilton County, and Fortville officials are set to respond with a potential annexation plan of their own.

Notices were recently sent to residents of the areas proposed for annexation, which are currently unincorporated Fortville addresses. The area is part of both municipalities’ long-term comprehensive plan.

Fortville Planning and Building Director Adam Zaklikowski brought the matter before the council at its July 1 meeting, suggesting that the council should move quickly if it wants to keep the area as part of the plan for the town.

“A lot of these folks seem to think they live in Fortville anyway,” Zaklikowski said. “We get calls all the time looking for building permits, looking to serve on our boards and commissions, and we have to tell them ‘Unfortunately, you’re in unincorporated Hamilton county.’”

He went on to emphasize that the neighborhoods that would be annexed had the potential to increase Fortville’s assessed value and tax revenue, which could thereby increase the town’s budget.

Fortville already supplies water to the area, but some local services such as policing and trash collection would switch to Fishers if the annexation were to go through.

“I’d want to know what the people thought, where they want to live,” Fortville town council vice president Ryan Rummell said.

School districts would be unaffected by any annexation process.

The Fortville town council made no official action toward annexation, but Zaklikowski suggested that he, Rummell and council president Tonya Davis meet with Fishers mayor Scott Fadness. Both Rummell and Davis expressed support for the idea, with Davis suggesting that Fishers had already “crossed over where they shouldn’t have” with previous annexations that crossed into areas where Fortville provided utilities.

The only council member to provide pushback to the idea was Vanessa Battaliga, who was concerned with the financial ramifications of annexation. Zaklikowski reassured Battaliga that the town would be able to look further into financial to ensure the area would produce a net revenue for the town before going through with annexation.

Fishers has scheduled several open-house public outreach meetings at the end of July, the times and locations of which can be found at https://fishersin.gov/annexation/. The city would then host a public hearing on the potential annexation at a yet-to-be-determined date.

The area is currently zoned by the city of Fishers, and all zoning would remain unchanged if Fishers were to annex the area.

After the public information sessions, the city would have the ability to introduce an annexation ordinance, after which it could hold the public hearing.

Following the public hearing, the city would have the option to pass the annexation ordinance. If it did so, citizens would then have the option to either allow the ordinance to pass or petition to either block the ordinance or send it to court. To block the ordinance outright would require either over 65% of the landowners in the area or landowners who control 80% of the property value in the area to sign the petition, while sending the ordinance to court would require 51-64% of landowners or the owners of 60-80% of the property value to sign.

Should Fortville pursue annexation, it would follow a similar process, with the additional step of petitioning the Hamilton County Commissioners to allow the town to expand across the county line.