WAITE PARK -- About 1,800 acres of St. Joseph Township could soon be called Waite Park territory.

During a work study session last (Monday) night city officials started planning the completion of a planned orderly annexation of remaining section of St. Joseph Township.

Planning and Community Development Director Jon Noerenberg says this is the last piece of land to annexed after the agreement was completed in 2000.

"The agreement staged the annexation in a couple of phases every few years until the last stages were available in 2016. So right now we are basically looking at the last two remaining areas that have just become eligible for annexation," says Noerenberg.

The annexed land would stretch Waite Park's western boundaries from the Sauk River to Interstate Highway 94.

Much of the proposed annexed land is farms, single-family homes and a few industrial properties.

Noerenberg says they city is expected to approve a rural tax district, which will allow township residents to not see drastic changes in taxes.

"It basically locks the tax rate for the areas that are newly annexed at the same rate they are at the township tax rate, but it wouldn't increase to the city level until they hook up to city water, if the properties were platted or developed," says Noerenberg.

The annexation would also allow for the city to provide services like plowing and firefighting to the area.

Noerenberg says the earliest the annexation can take place would be January 1st, 2017. The city council still needs to approve a date for the annexation, which will be brought at an upcoming city council meeting.