MANCHESTER, Mo. — The City of Manchester has a plan for residents in parts of unincorporated St. Louis County adjacent to its borders to join its municipality through annexation.
That includes the Barrett Station, Manchester Road, and Carman Road region.
John Kaestner is no stranger to moving municipalities. He experienced an annex in 1999, one of the two the city has had in 25 years. The other was in 1997.
He and his wife live in the Dietrich Chase subdivision, one of the neighborhoods that falls under unincorporated St. Louis County.
It is part of the more than 1400 acres the City of Manchester is looking to annex.
On Wednesday, Kaestner recalled how easy it was to reach local government before he moved from Manchester two years ago.
“Not only were the leaders in our government our neighbors, they were accessible, but they were also responsive to us," he said.
He also applauded the ongoing road improvement project that started during his time in the city.
"We were so glad to have that done in our neighborhood when we left. Unfortunately, the people on the north side of Carman Road didn't have that because they were still in St. Louis County," he added.
Manchester Mayor Mike Clement echoed those benefits that would impact just over 6,500 residents and close to 3,000 housing units they live in.
"There will be cost savings for those residents that live in the unincorporated area. They are going to pay a bit more in personal and real property taxes, but the big savings are in trash," Clement said.
Manchester residents pay $6 a month for trash services whereas residents in the unincorporated area pay $24-$25.
During a press conference Wednesday morning, St. Louis County Executive expressed he was in opposition to the annex and would compose a letter to the Boundary Commission.
He stated concerns about the lack of policing the now unincorporated residents would have as they would no longer be under St. Louis County police jurisdiction, part of the West County Precinct.
He added that residents would also lose trash, street repair, and snow removal services provided by the County, and that annexation would raise rates for current and annexed residents in Manchester
“I understand why Manchester would be interested in this area but I don't think it's a good deal for the residents. And that’s why I’m speaking up," Page said.
Clemens told 5 On Your Side part of the plan is to add another 12 officers, another sergeant, lieutenant to accommodate the new area.
He also responded to Page’s comment about snow removal citing it as the perfect example to contrast.
“St. Louis County cannot get into the residential areas nearly as quickly as say a city of Manchester so when I talk about the increase of services, snow plowing is just a really good example,” Clements added.
The public can weigh in on this up until next Tuesday, July 19.
The Boundary Commission then has nine months to determine whether the option will go to the voters or they have the power to scrap the idea.
The city is hoping the question would appear in the April 2023 Municipal Election.