MANKATO — Picture an area the size of lower North Mankato, and that's roughly the combined size of rural subdivisions in Mankato Township that may be absorbed into Mankato in the next two decades under an annexation agreement between the city and township.
The agreement, already approved by the township board and headed to the Mankato City Council Monday night, could lead to rural subdivisions totaling 437 acres and more than 600 residents to come into the city limits. Two-thirds of each subdivision's property owners would need to agree to the annexation, as would the city and township governments, but Mankato Community Development Director Paul Vogel expects most will make that choice during the 22-year life of the agreement.
"As sewer becomes available, we'll probably get more interest," Vogel said.
The agreement also governs annexation of agricultural land for new subdivisions, but much of the focus of the updating of the 1995 agreement between the city and the township is on the existing rural neighborhoods that border the city but aren't hooked up to city sewer and water.
Some have aging septic systems and local water supply networks that will need substantial upgrades, and residents may see Mankato's municipal water and sewer as a cheaper long-term alternative, Vogel said. Other subdivisions were constructed more recently, and septic system problems might be a decade or two away.
Mankato staff is already in discussions with homeowners in Southview Heights Addition 2 about joining the city and hooking up to city utilities. The neighborhood is off of Stoltzman Road just outside Mankato's southwestern city limits.
Several other nearby subdivisions — Meadow Wood, Woodview Heights, West Sunset, Ballards Oak Ridge Area, Ballard and Corey, and Stoney Creek Estates are also part of "Area 1" in the annexation agreement. Also in "Area 1" is Country Club Estates on the opposite end of Mankato — on the north end adjacent to the Mankato Golf Club.