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Graves County Schools Fights Annexation By Creating “In Residence” Employee

Becca Schimmel and Chad Lampe

  The Graves County School district is challenging a decision this week by the Mayfield City Council to annex some of the district’s property. Mayfield Mayor Teresa Rochetti-Cantrell says the city pursued the annexation to make the area more attractive with the expansion of I-69 along the Purchase Parkway. But, teachers at the annexed schools will see their payroll tax increase from 1 to 2 percent. Rochetti-Cantrell says the tax increase will be implemented over the course of 4 years.

“You know, we have addressed that from the city standpoint. We know that that is a downside to it. We have agreed to, from the beginning, to phase that in at a quarter of a percent per year,” Rochetti-Cantrell said.

Graves County School’s employee Teresa Rogers is concerned about the negative impact she envisions if the annexation occurs.

“It will dramatically affect my income, it will be reduced. In addition to the county losing over $84,000 dollars in revenue that helps various programs. Which our county drastically needs. So if they get the one percent increase we also will lose an additional one percent of our income,” Rogers said.

Rochetti-Cantrell says it is a goal her time in office to increase the city’s boundaries and annexation is a tool to do that.  Plus she says,  the newly annexed portion of the county already receives some city services, like sewer.


“If they are already on our city sewer, we need to annex them into the city and that’s the case with the Graves County School system,” Rochetti-Cantrell said.

The Graves County Board of Education is petitioning the county clerk for a vote on the annexation of the proposed property which has only one resident. The district has created a resident position at the middle school for a full time security school resource officer, Shelia Akers.

Attorney Ed Massey with Blankenship Massey and Associates, representing the Graves County Board of Education is prepared to file a lawsuit if the petition for a vote is denied.

According to Massey, Akers has a residential address and has a permit for being a resident of the property in question of being annexed.

County Clerk Barry Kennemore says that if a property is in threat of being annexed and there is a resident living there they have the right to petition for a vote against that annexation.  A 55 percent majority would be needed to continue with the annexation or to stop it.

Becca Schimmel is a Becca Schimmel is a multimedia journalist with the Ohio Valley ReSource a collaborative of public radio stations in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio. She's based out of the WKU Public Radio newsroom in Bowling Green.
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