EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. — East Dubuque leaders will use incentives to try to convince residents of a nearby subdivision to agree to become part of the city.

City Council members this week agreed to offer property tax abatements to residents of the Indian Hills subdivision, located along Illinois 35 just outside of the city limits. However, the exact duration and terms of the abatement have not yet been agreed upon.

City leaders have identified annexing the subdivision, which already uses city water, as a means to help grow East Dubuque.

“The city of East Dubuque has not been growing, and we have been losing residents,” said Mayor Kirk VanOstrand. “Any time we can annex is going to help the city grow.”

If the owners of more than 50% of the 83 properties in the subdivision agree, the entire area could be voluntarily annexed.

If property owners don’t agree to voluntary annexation, city officials still could pursue an involuntary annexation of the area, though City Manager Loras Herrig said that would be lengthy and costly.

“If they sign up voluntarily, that would move the process along quicker,” Herrig said. “We’d like to do it the friendly way.”

Herrig previously stated that if the city would annex the property, it would need to install sewer lines at a cost of about $2.3 million. However, he noted that the revenue gained from property taxes eventually would cover the cost of such work.

Being annexed into the city likely would result in a property tax increase for those residents. Herrig said a tax abatement could lessen opposition to such a move.

A proposed ordinance including specific terms will be presented to council members at a future meeting.

Plans are still in place to hold a meeting in the fall, likely in October, with residents of the subdivision to discuss the proposed annexation and the impact it will have on their taxes.

Copyright, Telegraph Herald. This story cannot be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior authorization from the TH.