Benefits of Annexation

  • The legal process for expanding the City's boundaries.
  • No major changes in lifestyle or business operations are involved to the property owner being annexed.
  • The best way for unincorporated areas to receive services such as police, fire, recycling collection, water and sewer services, maintenance of streets, zoning regulations, voting privileges and other City services.
  • The result is a change in the boundaries of the community and it's one of the primary ways a city grows.
  • Land may be added to a city through a voluntary application by the owners of land adjoining the City or involuntarily through petition.
  • Land that can potentially be annexed into the City must be contiguous with the current city limits.
  • The City Council makes annexation decisions for Norwalk after receiving a recommendation from the Planning & Zoning Commission.
  • Annexation is governed by Iowa Code and administrative rules created for the City Development Board, which functions as an impartial third party. Meeting monthly, this board is appointed by the Governor and acts on petitions for municipal boundary changes, including annexations.
  • Voluntary annexation occurs when the owners of 80% of the affected property agree to be annexed. The state still considers an annexation to be voluntary with landowners of up to 20% of the affected land not consenting.
  • Involuntary annexation occurs when less than 80% of the affected property owners agree to be annexed.
  1. Norwalk Police: The City of Norwalk Police Department will be the first to respond to your calls for help. Many people feel having local police provides quicker and more thorough responses.
  2. Norwalk Fire/Emergency Medical Services: Having full-time paid professionals 24/7 paramedic and fire service within your community is clearly a safer, dependable option for your family and often provides a savings on your homeowners insurance.
  3. Access to Public Utilities: When considering annexation of property, the City will develop the necessary feasibility studies to determine how public services (water and sanitary sewer) can be provided to the area. The exact timing of installation is dependent on many variables and would be determined on a case by case basis. Utility planning and investment by the City increases the value of land and will continue to increase values into the future for Norwalk's citizens.
  4. Voting: As a resident of Norwalk, you will have full voting privileges in all mayoral, council and bond referendum elections. You will also be able to run for officer and serve on various City boards, commissions, and committees.
  5. Enhanced Local Representation: In the City of Norwalk, 5 council members and a mayor represent the 14,807 city residents (One representative for every 2,961 residents). In Warren County, 5 county supervisors represent the 55,205 county residents (One representative for every 11,041 residents).
  6. Weekly garbage collection, by-weekly recycling collection, and weekly residential Compost-It pickup.
  7. Maintenance of streets and snow removal.
  8. Access to all Parks & Recreation programs and facilities at citizen rates as well as use of the City Library.
  9. Property owners who voluntarily annex into the City will be given the option of entering into an Annexation Agreement ensuring the right to continue the existing ag/rural uses they currently enjoy (such as hunting, burning, livestock, etc.)
One of the first questions often asked is how will annexation affect property taxes? Once the property is annexed to a municipality, the property becomes taxed under the municipality's tax levy, rather than the county township tax levy.

The City Council will consider an annexation policy that would allow for a transitional tax abatement for existing properties that voluntarily annex into the City of Norwalk. 

Below is a property tax comparison:

Tax Comparison