Proposed Highway 87 annexation discussed at public forum

A public forum discussing the Highway 87 annexation proposal was held Wednesday evening at the Boonville City Hall Council Chambers. The forum discussed ideas and the affected individuals and their public's opinion on the proposal.
Boonville City Counselor and City Planner Megan McGuire, is looking at the future of Boonville and the economic possibilities this annexation will bring.  
"There is a more global issue when it comes to annexation. This is not a five or 10 year plan, this is a 20-30 year plan. We cannot become stagnate," McGuire said.
Hail Ridge Golf Course owner Bill Rapp, said the key to developing the Highway 87 corridor is annexation. The development is dependent on the passing of the annexation, including the addition of more businesses and jobs.
"This is the kind of development, which is likely to succeed," McGuire said.
"Boonville is currently experiencing economic problems with the loss of Nordyne, Fuqua Homes and most recently Potter Trucking. We need jobs. We think this has the potential for jobs," Boonville Mayor Julie Thacher said.
"It may be 30 years before it is all built out," Rapp said.
Rapp intends to add 200 acres of housing development. Compared in size, the Kemper Greens development is just over 50 acres in size.
McGuire said adding 200-300 more households would be very beneficial to the city.
"We have to capitalize on what we have. We are a bedroom community to Columbia, and Boonville is running out of housing lots," McGuire said. "We have many older homes but there are many people who want to live in a new home."
Local farmer Dick Rohlfing, who may be impacted by the annexation, said he wants to continue using his farm as he has been doing, which includes hunting on the property.
Under city law, firearms are prohibited from being discharged within city limits.
"My grandkids all want to farm. I can't see us us selling off lots, which I do not see us having any advantage of being in the city limits. I could not see us doing the city any good either," Rohlfing said.
McGuire said she was working withRohlfing to accommodate his needs.
Thacher told a story regarding a family farm, which existed where Sonic is located now on Highway B. She said before the development there, it was thought Boonville would not expand that far.
"My grandmother asked my great-grandmother if they would ever be in the City of Boonville? My great- grandmother just laughed, are you kidding, they will never get out here," Thacher said.