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Annexation officially moving forward after court denies county's appeal

Annexation officially moving forward after court denies county's appeal

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A neighborhood pictured on Dec. 7, 2017 in Gretna.

The Nebraska Supreme Court and Nebraska Court of Appeals announced Tuesday its overruling of Sarpy County’s appeal for a rehearing regarding the years-long legal battle over the City of Gretna’s annexation package.

Proposed in late 2017, the annexation includes nearly 3,000 acres and thousands of new residents. Landmarks like Sapp Bros. and Vala’s Pumpkin Patch will officially be inside city limits, as will subdivisions such as Standing Stone and Lincoln Place.

The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled in favor of the City of Gretna in late May, reversing a district court decision that had originally sided with the county, which claimed that Gretna could not legally annex agricultural land in its sweep to bring the city limits to Interstate 80.

Following the ruling, Sarpy County filed a rehearing request on June 7.

“This would be our next step in the appeal process,” Chief Deputy County Attorney Bonnie Moore said earlier this week. “We want to exhaust all of our options with regards to the appeal.”

Now that the appeal has been denied, the city will take steps to move forward with the annexation.

The process — filing paperwork, working with the Sanitary Improvement Districts (SIDs), etc. — could take a few months, said Mayor Mike Evans.

“We’re really excited it’s over,” Evans said. “A lot of indecision has gone away. Now we know what’s going to happen and we can really focus on what we’ve been doing. There’s no firm timeline, but there are no additional hoops. We just have to go through the process and work with the entities involved.

“We’re really happy that we’re able to focus on serving the residents and the community. We always felt like a lot of these people were in the community. We’re looking forward to having them officially in Gretna and working together to build up the community.”

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The City of Gretna was busy in 2020, laying the infrastructure and groundwork for many projects expected to get underway in 2021.

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