It's an idea that's been discussed for many years now, but the city of Weston is taking its first step towards annexing pieces of the surrounding area.
At Monday's meeting of the Lewis County Commission, representatives from the city of Weston, including the mayor and city attorney, spoke about possible plans to annex areas around the city. Weston has had financial problems in the past, but has made strides in getting back into the black.
"You know, Weston's had its financial problems. We've really come out in the past three years, we've really come out of the woods on this. We only owe one entity and that's PEIA. We paid off the federal government, paid off the state government as far as taxes," said city Mayor Julia Spelsberg.
But outside sources of funding are drying up. The city wants to annex businesses in the area to keep the services they offer available to residents. The Lewis County Commission said it's open to the idea, but wants to be sure that any move is done with the entire county in mind.
"As the city of Weston, the county seat goes, so goes the county. So we're going to protect our city seat, we're going to make sure we do everything in our power economically to make sure they're viable within reason. We understand that there's businesses and individuals opposed to annexation," said Commission President Pat Boyle.
Historically, annexation discussions have centered around the interchange of Route 33 and Interstate 79. No specific areas have been named yet, as it's still very early in those discussions. Mayor Spelsberg said that despite the city's past financial problems, its leaders are prepared to be a good financial stewards and keep services alive.
"We've had to prove ourselves that we can govern and do a good job, and we can always learn, but I think we've come a long way in the past few years," said Spelsberg.
County commissioners were generally supportive of annexation, but will be watching the city's plans as they are further developed.