Costs of bringing "Donut Hole" into Pasco city limits

PASCO -- As Pasco continues its move to annex a portion of the Donut Hole, all new city-services could soon be coming to that area.

One of the most important changes will come from the Police Department.

Chief Robert Metzger says, "The officers already know that area, so it won't take them too long to get used to it. It's just a matter of, administratively, if we are going to need to adjust our boundaries. We could be ready tomorrow."

Neighbors could also see city road maintenance and snow removal, garbage pickup, and animal control.

That comes as a relief to Donut Hole resident Lara Nieffer, who was attacked by a dog two years ago. She's been pushing for better animal control in the area ever since.

She says she would feel much safer knowing Animal Control was in charge of problems in her neighborhood.

"I think there would be somebody to call, and I'd feel a lot safer."

Animal Control already has a contract in place with the City of Pasco. If Area 2 is annexed, it will automatically start serving those neighborhoods as well.

But it will come with a price. The city tells Action News the entire Donut Hole stands to bring in about $1.2 million in tax revenue. It will only net about $600,000, after the cost of bringing services into the area.

The tax revenue of Area 2 stands at about $400,000.

All the while, city leaders are still hoping to reach an annexation agreement for all of the donut hole, instead of piece by piece.

"So we can come up with a plan," says Gary Crutchfield. "Instead of this piece-mealing it together, which is really as inefficient as you can make it."

But for now, with many Donut Hole residents firmly against annexation, that may just be the only way it will happen at all.