Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Jackpine Gypsies group concerned about potential annexation of their property

STURGIS, S.D. – The Jackpine Gypsies group is having conversations with the city of Sturgis ahead of a March 2nd public hearing that may annex their property into the city.

Jackpine Gypsies Chairman of the Board Brett Winsell says they are disappointed in the lack of communication from them about the plan.

“I think the big thing is, and we really want to be clear, we do want to pay our fair share,” says Winsell to KBHB News in a live interview Wednesday morning.

“We characterize this annexation push in this way — the law of unintended consequences. There’s been a huge lack of communication from the city. This came to us as a surprise.”

Winsell believes they have already been paying their fair share. The group in 2003 donated an easement to the city to finish a road that serves the property.

“Since that time, we have paid land taxes on the property that city road sits on and we’ve also paid a city water fee at one-and-a-half times the going rate, and we’re glad to do it, we’re glad to have it. We’ve also paid the ambulance service whenever we’ve used it.”

Jim Paisley, board member and former president of the Jackpine Gypsies, says they have many questions.

“It’s inevitable this ground is going to be annexed — that’s no argument at all. The issue right now is the role out and the timing. Is there an event that’s precipitating that we need to make these changes within the city? Are there big plans where the Jackpine Gypsies is in the way of such a plan being executed? We don’t know. There are agreements in place with planning and zoning where the city has control over a certain area regardless whether they own it or not or whether it’s annexed.”

Paisley says they feel this hasn’t been discussed enough with them and they feel rushed.

The city of Sturgis says their policy has been to ensure all areas receiving municipal services are a part of the city of Sturgis. This policy is consistent with the first basis of annexation authorized by state statute.

It’s not the only property being considered. The city will also hold a public hearing March 2 to annex in the Big Rig Campground on Dolan Creek Road.

The campground also has publicly stated they have concerns about being annexed into the city.

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