By John Bozzo
For Hometown News
ORMOND BEACH - City officials say an annexation strategy continues to pay off by expanding the city's commercial tax base.
The policy requires annexation for properties that get city water and sewer service.
"There are areas planned to be part of Ormond Beach in the future where we have the exclusive right to provide sewer and water," said Ric Goss, city planning director.
City commissioners on Oct. 4 approved plans for three commercial buildings to become part of the city. Those include:
. A 14,820-square foot pharmacy and 13,200-square-foot medical professional office building at the northeast intersection of N. U.S. Highway 1 and Pine Tree Drive will become part of the city as soon as the Ormond Beach boundary extends to the property.
. Tire Kingdom, 250 Williamson Blvd., will annex into the city as soon as a certificate of occupancy is issued and water and sewer service is started for the auto repair business.
During the recently completed 2010-2011 fiscal year, Ormond Beach annexed 10 properties, one for a non-profit, plus nine commercial sites on North U.S. 1, including two hotels, a restaurant, some vacant properties and an adult nightclub.
Future annexation growth will likely continue to occur on the North U.S. 1 corridor, where properties such as the Destination Daytona entertainment venue receive city water and sewer, but are not yet contiguous to municipal boundaries for annexation.
Annexing the North U.S. 1 business corridor would bring a "significant" increase in property taxes of "hundreds of thousands" of dollars to the city, Mr. Goss said.
It's a decent deal for the properties to be annexed, as well. Water and sewer rates are lower in the city and Ormond's property tax rate is lower than the unincorporated area.
"We're adding jobs to our community and increasing our tax base," Commissioner Rick Boehm said.
Currently, about 74 percent of the property values are residential and 26 percent non-residential, Economic Development Director Joe Mannarino said in an interview.
"Commercial property provides a better base for the community," Mr. Mannarino said. "They provide more revenue with less impact. It's always a goal of the community to achieve a good balance of residential and non-residential to spread out the cost of services."
Commercial properties also pay more franchise fees and utility taxes than residences, he said. Sometimes, one plant can pay as much in fees as 230 homes.
Annexing into the city also gives the business the opportunity to work with Mr. Mannarino on expansion and growth in the future.
While there's a potential for growth on the North U.S. 1 corridor, the area is now a "checkerboard" of city and unincorporated Volusia County properties. State law prohibits enclaves and allows annexation only when a site is located next to the municipal city limits.
Discussions are under way with Volusia County about the North U.S. 1 corridor.
Following is a list of the Ormond Beach annexations completed in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
July 5, 2011
.American Legion Cassin Young Memorial Post 267, 1145 N. U.S. Highway 1.
April 20, 2011
.Econo Lodge Interstate, 1567 N. U.S.1.
. Comfort Inn, 1571 N. U.S. 1.
March 21, 2011
.A former Wendy's restaurant and gas station, 1561 N. U.S. 1.
.RaceTrac gas station, 1521 N. U.S.1.
Dec. 21, 2010
.Waffle House, 1570 N. U.S. 1.
.Sunoco gas station and fruit store, 1576 N. U.S. 1.
Dec. 7. 2010
. Lil' Champ/Jiffy store, 1520 N. U.S. 1.
. Vacant gas station-truck stop, 1560 N. U.S. 1.
Oct. 5, 2010
. Cheaters, 1545 N. U.S. 1.