The City of Omaha will add about 180 residents in mid-July with last week’s approval of an annexation package.
The Omaha City Council approved a proposal by Mayor Jean Stothert to annex three areas near the city limits that will add 177 acres to the city.
The areas include Methodist Women’s Hospital, northeast of 192nd Street and West Dodge Road; the Omaha Public Power District’s Elkhorn service center, southeast of Old Lincoln Highway and 180th Street; and Pacific Renaissance Addition, which includes a town house development called Ravello 192, northwest of 192nd and Pacific Streets.
Approval of the proposal came after some debate.
Council member Vinny Palermo spoke against the annexation package, citing a staffing shortage within the Omaha Police Department and concern that the additions could further strain officers.
“It’s my goal to take care of city employees because if you’re not taking care of your city employees, you’re not taking care of your city,” Palermo said. “This annexation package — due to the staffing levels that we currently know we have within the Omaha Police Department — it’s troublesome for me with our officers in mind.”
The department is down about 60 officers departmentwide, said Deputy Police Chief Scott Gray.
Methodist Women’s Hospital currently is surrounded by the city, Gray noted, “so a lot of the calls we get at the hospital we’re responding to because they occurred in the city.”
Council member Aimee Melton noted that the annexation package is among the smallest proposals in recent years.
This was the second consecutive year that Stothert has proposed a relatively small annexation package. In 2021, the mayor recommended three subdivisions for annexation: Whispering Ridge West subdivision, southeast of 180th Street and West Maple Road; Northridge subdivision, northwest of 180th and Pacific Streets; and the Villas of Omaha at Butler Ridge complex, near 156th and Fort Streets. The council approved the plan.
In 2020, the mayor recommended annexing eight subdivisions, which increased Omaha’s population by more than 2,100 people.
“Annual growth is essential for strong cities,” Stothert said in a statement in May. “Even though we are not annexing any (sanitary and improvement districts) this year, it is important that we continue our successful record and meet our goals.”
Property taxes paid by the hospital and the owner of the town house development will increase by about $392 per $100,000 valuation, according to the Mayor’s Office.
The city estimated that it would collect more than $1 million in total revenue over the next 10 years from the added property taxes, street and highway funds and the wheel tax.
An annual review of the metro area’s SIDs found that annexing any of the 138 existing districts would not bring in money to the city.
SIDs are quasi-municipal jurisdictions formed by a majority of property owners within the district for the purpose of creating improvements, such as water and sewer systems, roads and other infrastructure. They can levy taxes and special assessments and issue bonds to pay for the improvements.