The Corbin City Commission took the next step in its dispute with the City of London Thursday morning, which is attempting to annex property off of Exit 29, approving a letter to be sent to businesses in the area notifying them that the action is illegal.
The commissioners unanimously approved the letter during a special called commission meeting.
The letter signed by Mayor Suzie Razmus notes that while Corbin is unable to annex any property in the area known as “north Corbin,” the area has benefited from its proximity to Corbin as the city installed the water and sewer lines that serve the area.
Under existing Kentucky law, a city may only annex property in which the city is chartered. Corbin is chartered in Whitley and Knox counties.
Area state legislators, led by Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, have made several attempts in recent years to change the language of the law to permit Corbin to annex into Laurel County. However, those efforts have been unsuccessful.
Corridor annexation, which is what London is attempting to do by annexing 12 miles down Interstate 75, is also illegal as Corbin states in the letter.
Razmus went on to state in the letter that Corbin has proposed a compromise to benefit the area and allow alcohol to be sold at businesses in the area, while placing it under the jurisdiction of Corbin Police and the Corbin Fire Department.
“This agreement would have been a win/win as occupational tax dollars would have been shared between Laurel County and the City of Corbin,” the letter states. “Keep in mind, Laurel County occupational tax is already under an interlocal agreement with the city of London to share 70/30 in all taxes collected throughout the county, which allows the City of London to collect from Exit 29 as well.”
“This proposal was soundly refused with no basis for the decision,” the letter notes.
The City of Corbin is asking any businesses located on West Cumberland Gap Pkwy that would like to be considered for annexation into Corbin to please write a letter to the city stating such.
“If anyone would like to discuss the benefits of annexation into Corbin, we would welcome the opportunity to share our vision for this exit,” the letter states noting the city will never allow the City of London to annex on Corbin’s water or sewer lines.
“We instead are open to a compromise, which will allow for growth and mutual benefit of all parties,” the letter states.
In the past, residents in the area have expressed concerns that if Corbin were permitted to annex into Laurel County, residential property would be forcibly annexed along with businesses in the area.
The Corbin City Commission has previously annexed a number of roads into the city, including Fifth Street, West Ky. 312 to the Laurel County line, and a portion of Browning Acres Road.
However, only property owners along those roadways, including Corbin Primary School, Circle K at the intersection of Fifth Street and U.S. 25W, Felts Music Place, and Immanuel Baptist Church, who have requested annexation, have been annexed into the city.