The Arizona Republic
After spending a decade gobbling up large swaths of desert to expand their borders, several Valley cities were left with a hard lesson: nothing comes for free.
Across metro Phoenix, hundreds of thousands of acres were annexed into municipal boundaries, but in some cases the new homes and businesses that were supposed to be built never materialized.
Developers pulled out when the economy soured, and several Valley cities realized they had to provide police, fire, trash, water and sewer services to areas miles away from their previous boundaries.
Cities contemplate annexations because land brought inside city boundaries can often secure future economic growth.
“Long term, we truly want to be a destination community, a fully sustainable community … so that we provide all the services and amenities that anybody else would expect,” Buckeye Town Manager Stephen Cleveland said.