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Annexation Not Embraced by All U.S. 301 Industrial Park Businesses

Dale McClellan, president of recently annexed M&B Products, brought city officials and business owners in the U.S. 301 Industrial Park together Tuesday.

Dale McClellan had a friend whose wife liked to cook, but every time she made a beef roast, she’d cut 2 inches off the end and throw it away.

McClellan’s friend didn’t like to ask a lot of questions, but one day, he inquired about his wife’s unusual ritual. She said she prepared the roast that way because that’s how her mother had done it.

When Thanksgiving rolled around and the whole family was together, McClellan’s friend asked his mother-in-law why she cut 2 inches off a roast and threw it away. She replied that’s how her mother had done it. So, McClellan’s friend asked his wife’s grandmother why she had taught his mother-in-law to cut 2 inches off a roast and throw it away.

She looked at him and explained that the day she taught her daughter how to cook a roast, it had been too big to fit in the pan.

McClellan used that story Tuesday to illustrate the importance of communication.

For years, his family was against the city annexing their dairy farm on Harney Road, which is now M&B Products. McClellan said their hesitation came from a “fear of the unknown.”

But McClellan, president of M&B Products, recently decided to favor annexation after a friend helped him open the lines of communication with Mayor Joe Affronti and city officials. On March 22, the corporation with a ribbon cutting.

“It has turned into a very good relationship,” McClellan said.

On Tuesday, McClellan invited chamber members, city officials and business owners whose properties are not yet annexed to M&B Products for an ice cream social, a tour of his facility, and a discussion about the benefits of annexation.

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At their March 20 meeting, the Temple Terrace City Council in the U.S. 301 Industrial Park and their rights-of-way into the city. The land totals nearly 35 acres.

All seven properties will yield $37,913 in annual property tax for the city, Brad Parrish, senior planner with the city’s , told the council at a meeting before the vote. Hillsborough County did no object to the annexation.

Prior to this annexation, three properties in the U.S. 301 Industrial Park had already been annexed. It is the city’s intent to annex the estimated 20 more properties in the area. Parrish told the council that the Community Development Department would continue to request petitions from the rest of the property owners with the hope of eventually incorporating the entire Industrial Park into Temple Terrace.

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But some business owners in the U.S. 301 Industrial Park said Tuesday that they don’t see the advantage of allowing the city to annex their property.

Donna Arsenault, president of Republic Voice & Data, said she worried she would have to pay more taxes.

Gerald McCarley, president of Florida Air Services, who was born in Temple Terrace and lived in the city for years, said he had run into issues with the city’s for parking in his yard or having a vehicle in his driveway with business advertising on it.

“The City of Temple Terrace—in my opinion—is not somewhere you want to be anymore,” he said.

“My point is, as Donna said, what’s in it for us?” he asked.

Kim Leinbach said the city has a high level of service, including emergency responders.

Business owners and chamber members Phil Lentsch, of , and David Long, of , backed Leinbach.

“If I have an issue—and I have had issues—I can call,” Long said, explaining that Leinbach or Code Compliance Director Joe Gross know him by name and address his concerns.

“It’s not about getting the cheapest,” Long said. “It’s getting the best for a reasonable price.”

Barbara Sparks-McGlinchy, executive director of the chamber, encouraged concerned business owners to talk to chamber members to understand what they think the pros and cons of having a business in Temple Terrace include.

City Councilman David Pogorilich, who is also a contractor, said he understood where 301 business owners were coming from.

“There is a perception among a small group of contractors that say Temple Terrace is hard to work with,” Pogorilich said. “In the last eight to 10 years, we have made a 180.”

“We’re not a cult,” he added.

But 301 business owners said they weren’t convinced. They said they already have services from Hillsborough County, and they wanted reassurance that the city wouldn’t force annexation on them.

“I will never advocate taking anybody,” Leinbach said.

Although the discussion didn’t end in a consensus, McClellan said he thought it was still successful.

“To me, this is a productive conversation,” he said. “We got the ball rolling.”

Sherri Lonon April 27, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Interesting that the opinions are so split. What advantages do you think being inside the city limits brings?
Grant Rimbey April 27, 2012 at 01:53 PM
With all due respect, Gerald McCarley is incorrect in his accessment of Temple Terrace. Being a former long time resident, he should know better.
Richard Diaz April 28, 2012 at 01:03 PM
code and police dept. pick and choose enforcement depending on who or what. I am a resident

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