La Cabreah neighborhood now divided over annexation

The voluntary annexation of the La Cabreah neighborhood is now in the hands of Fort Wayne's city council.

Posted: Sep. 12, 2018 11:22 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The voluntary annexation of the La Cabreah neighborhood is now in the hands of Fort Wayne's city council.

However, some people in the neighborhood said they've changed their mind and want to stay unincorporated.

A third of La Cabreah is in city limits, some homes were even built on the line.

The remainder 174 homes could join the city in the spring.

For many, it's about having access to improved emergency services.

Justin Brown's house burned down two years ago this coming weekend.

"In the length of time it took Huntertown to come down and service for us, we actually lost all of our home," said Brown.

Fort Wayne fire station 16 is just around the corner on Coldwater Road, but since his house is in the county portion of the neighborhood the Huntertown Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call after 16 minutes.

"Out of ignorance on my part, I always just assumed whoever was the closest would respond," Brown said.

That's one of the biggest reason La Cabreah neighborhood association president Deb Parish said they sent a petition for annexation to their neighbors.

"I would rather see that for my neighbors. I know there are a lot of elderly people that live in here now. They want quick service," she told FOX 55.

The city clerk's office verified 51 percent of the homeowners in the county portion signed a petition.

However, some people said they felt mislead and wanted their names off.

Charles Bitler said his wife signed the petition when he wasn't home.

"She had told me she signed this petition. I said 'absolutely not agree to that in any shape or form,'" he said.

The city said it can't take names off a petition because of state laws.

However, Bitler said he was successful in having his name removed by following the proper steps.

Fort Wayne's city council is expected to vote on the annexation October 23.

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