Macomb is in talks with BNSF that could help the city expand. The plan is to annex the railroad's right-of-way westward to the future site of the Macomb bypass.
“Our primary goal is to take advantage of those folks willing to come in that are businesses -- commercial developments -- that bring sales tax revenue in to the city,” said Mayor Mike Inman.
He said the annexation might also increase the city's population base, though he feels that would be “icing on the cake.”
Inman said Macomb and BNSF have been in negotiations for the better part of a year.
He would like to work out an agreement as quickly as possible. The deal would have to be approved by aldermen.
Inman said the city has annexation agreements with a number of properties along Route 136 due to the water line that runs out to Colchester. But those properties are not the city's best option for extending its borders.
“That's a hodge-podge of hit-and-miss properties,” Inman said, adding the BNSF line would allow the city to move more quickly.
He said it's possible the city could add land on both sides of the bypass.