Battle over plant annexation stirs controversy in Reynolds

Keywords Annexation / lawsuit / neglect

Leaders in Reynolds have stirred controversy after annexing an iron pellet plant just outside of the small White County town.

The Magnetation plant opened in unincorporated part of White County last September, promising more than 100 jobs for nearby Reynolds. Seeing a potential tax stream, the Reynolds Town Board annexed the plant in January, which brought a lawsuit from White County. Then, the plant filed for bankruptcy in May.

Asserting that greed is killing the plant, nearly 200 people have signed a petition calling on the town leaders to resign. Others are trying to line up challengers to unseat the board in November's elections.

In their lawsuit, White County sued Reynolds, asserting that the annexation was improper because the town did not also annex the roads serving the plant, among other allegations. Magnetation and a neighboring farm that fell into the annexation joined the suit.

Rick Buschman, a former member of the Reynolds town board, worries that defending the lawsuit over the annexation will bankrupt the town. Since May 2014, the town has spent nearly $25,000 on legal fees for the annexation, according to vouchers obtained by the Journal & Courier .


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