Law might yield path to town

A proposal to create a new town of Center Grove has led state lawmakers to look at revamping the law so voters could decide themselves.

Creating a new town currently requires getting 50 signatures and the approval of at least two of three county commissioners, but state lawmakers who represent parts of Johnson County said that’s not enough.

State Reps. John Price, Woody Burton and David Frizzell are proposing legislation that would add the option of a referendum, if county commissioners would prefer to let the people decide instead of voting themselves for or against creating a new town. The proposal also would require 10 percent of residents to sign a petition that would start the process of creating a town, or at least 2,800 residents in the case of a new town of Center Grove.

Jody Veldkamp, a board member for the Citizens for Center Grove group that’s working to create a new town, said the 10 percent threshold seemed reasonable. He said the group would be interested in pursuing a referendum on a new town if that were an option.

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