The city of Sugar Creek wants to expand by 2,700 acres near the Missouri River, and some residents living within the area are opposed.

An informal, roundtable discussion was hosted by the city Wednesday evening to discuss the proposal that would allow Sugar Creek to extend its city boundaries eastward by annexing land south of the Missouri River.

The land is west of the Little Blue River from a point roughly north of Fort Osage High School and then north to the Missouri River, excluding Atherton and a triangle of land along Atherton Road. The southern boundary is Union School Road. It totals an estimated 4 square miles.

The area primarily consists of land zoned for agriculture, plus a few light industrial and residential zones.

Sugar Creek City Administrator Ron Martinovich, along with Mayor Matt Mallinson and other city officials, presented an overview of the annexation proposal that was followed by comments from the nearly 30 people in attendance. No decision-making or formal action on the issue took place as it was merely a forum between city officials and the general public.

“There are no plans to change the character of the area,” said Martinovich. However, he later said the yet-to-be constructed Lewis & Clark Expressway will be running through the area.

“We believe we can improve the quality of life,” Mallinson told the property owners living within the proposed annexation area in attendance.

Both Mallinson and Martinvoich asserted that one of the key benefits of Sugar Creek acquiring the land near the Missouri River is that property owners in the area will pay less property tax than they do now.

“The Sugar Creek property tax rate is $317 per $100,000,” said Mallinson. Martinovich also noted that the city’s 2 percent sales tax rate is less than the current Jackson County rate of 5.475 percent.

Sugar Chief Police Chief Herb Soule said his police force have already served the area through mutual agreement with the Jackson County Sheriff.

“Jackson County Sheriff deputies have to cover 360 square miles,” Soule said. “Just recently we responded to a house alarm in the area and left a note. We (Sugar Creek Police) are highly respected in the metro area and pretty paternalistic.”

When questioned about the police’s response time, Soule replied it is under 10 minutes.