WILLCOX — During their meeting on Thursday, Feb. 18, members of the Willcox City Council unanimously approved a resolution to authorize staff to proceed with the annexation of 25 properties.

The next step in the process is a public hearing in March, according to City Manager Caleb Blaschke.

“The City Council established a goal of identifying cost effective areas for annexation,” Blaschke said. “These areas were also included in the General Plan. In order for an annexation to be processed, it has to go before the city council through resolution.

“Annexations in Willcox must be looked at through a cost-benefit perspective. When a resident lives within the city of Willcox, the city receives both state shared revenues and property taxes for that resident. During the census, we estimated this amount to be approximately $2,342 each year. However, we have to offset that amount with the costs of additional services such as police and streets.

“The annexation that is being processed involves numerous businesses who would pay sales tax once within the city and utilize city utilities, helping to keep the cost low for residents. Many businesses and residents that annex into the city enjoy having city utilities, police and fire protection.”

The city has been looking into taking over the airport and a discussion with Cochise County officials about the city of Willcox’s consideration of annexing the land the airport sits on has taken place. According to Blaschke, this topic will be revisited at a future city council meeting.