Annexation

The City of DeFuniak Springs is considering a voluntary annexation of properties south of the current city limits. City Manager Mell Smigielski sent letters to property owners within that area with a brochure about voluntary annexation.  Below is the content of the brochure, or download our brochure (PDF)

What is Annexation?

Annexation is a process outlined in Florida Statutes where property owners located outside City limits can ask to become part of the City. (A property must touch another property that is already inside the city limits in order to qualify for annexation into the City.)

Safety Benefits of Annexation?

  • Money saving opportunities
  • Member of the community 
  • Enhanced, responsive, and personalized services that are often not offered to those who are part of a large unincorporated area such as:
    • No  more  worries  about  contamination to your drinking water and assurances that your water is properly treated and tested;
      • Eliminates the hassle of a private septic tank (and all the necessary maintenance that goes along with maintaining it).
      • No fire assessment fees;
      • Lower ISO rating than unincorporated areas since it is within 5 miles of the fire station;
      • Increases police patrols and response time due to the geographical size being smaller than the unincorporated areas;

Greater Savings

  • Water/Sewer/Natural Gas: If you are currently receiving city water, sewer and/or natural gas, you will automatically receive a 25% reduction in your monthly bill when your property is annexed because the surcharge for out-of-city customers will be eliminated.  Example: if your monthly water and sewer bill is $100.00, you currently pay $25.00 each month for the surcharge.  Upon annexation, your bill would be reduced by $25.00 per month, which is an annual savings of $300.00!
  • Garbage & Trash Collection:  You are not charged for the City to pick up residential garbage, and the City will provide you with a heavy-duty garbage can. 
  • Fire/Rescue: Your fire/rescue tax will be eliminated; this alone is as little as $75 (or as much as several thousand dollars) in savings per year! 
  • Low Ad Velorem Tax: The City’s ad valorem tax rate is only 4.5% of the assessed value of your property.
  • Development Costs: Customers utilizing city water and sewer in unincorporated areas of our county are charged a surcharge of 25% for both tap and impact fees.  So, whether you are a large developer or someone building on a single parcel of land, annexation can substantially reduce your development costs.  
  • Increased Density:  If you own vacant land located in an unincorporated area and you wish to develop your land, annexation into the city can be beneficial because the City’s zoning regulations often allow more units per acre.   Additionally, connecting to the City’s sewer system can result in less land needed per parcel since you don’t have to have a minimum of ½ of land for a septic tank; depending on zoning, one can get as many as 24-units per acre when on city sewer.

Quality Services

  • Customer Service:  The City has staff available to speak to you in person, by phone, or by email.
  • A Voice in City Government: Including the right to vote in City elections. (You retain your right to vote for your county representatives, too!). 
  • Stronger Land Use Regulations: No more worries about undesirable land uses becoming your neighbor.
  • Code Enforcement:  Prompt, courteous, professional assistance with violations of codes.
  • Faster Approval of Development Plans and/or Zoning Changes;
  • Improved Public Infrastructure:  Streets, sidewalks, parks, and recreational areas. 
  • Increased Property Values:  Due to increased services, your value may increase. 
  • Capital Improvements:  These services also include infrastructure improvement programs that are all designed to fit the needs of the community. 

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Citizens can be a part of a fun committee to plan great events for our residents and visitors OR being a member of a board, which is tasked with shaping the future of our great city, DeFuniak Springs has something for everyone! 

Retain Your Address

  • Annexation does not affect mailing addresses, ZIP codes, school zones or assignments. In most instances, residents in an annexation area already have a City mailing address.