LINCOLN–(KFOR Mar. 21)–People living in an an area of about 445 acres of land in southeast Lincoln the city wants to annex told the City Council on Monday during a public hearing to hold off on moving forward with annexation plans.

The concern primarily deals with the lack of fire protection for residents between 70th and 84th Streets, Pine Lake to Yankee Hill roads than they do with the Southeast Rural Fire Department.

“The crux of the issue is the area to be annexed does not have fire hydrants,” said Jeremy Quist, who lives in the area and is the assistant chief for Southeast Rural Fire.  “The city does not currently have water tankers or any off-road vehicles.  So, it would seem the city shouldn’t annex anything that they don’t the equipment to take care of.”

Victoria Northrup is a resident in the proposed annexed area and questioned the methods of the Planning Department during this whole process.

“I just really would like to see a comprehensive plan that make sense for our area,” Northrup said. “For the wastewater, for the sewers, for the fire and also just the fact that no one in our area is trying to develop any of these properties.”

City-County planning director David Cary told the Council the fire station off of 66th and Pine Lake Road would provide fire protection for the area, saying the response time would be one to two minutes and allow firefighters to take care of most fires and extinguish them where they originated.

Fire protection wasn’t the only concern for homeowners in the area.  Aside from water and wastewater service and having to pay for those connections, residents would have to pay the city wheel tax and license their pets.

Other residents indicated the city should hold off until the entire area south to the new South Beltway or Highway 2 was ready to be annexed.  That way all city services could be installed at the same time.

Council members plan to vote on the annexation proposal  on March 27.