POLK COUNTY, IOWA — The Mayor of Alleman has been on a campaign. Not for re-election, but instead to try to grow his community of 438 people.

Alleman does not have much in the way of businesses. The North Polk schools bring hundreds of kids into this town every day, but the town does not have much in the way of economic growth. It cannot afford to install a sewer system. The town had to save up for two years, just to resurface one road leading to the school. That’s why mayor Robert Kramme is against a plan by neighbor Ankeny to close in on the town.

The mayor has gone door to door tracking down landowners, to get them to agree to annexation by Alleman.

“I’m probably only mayor in the state that’s gone door to door for two years talking to people and getting them to the annex into the city of Alleman,” said Kramme. “You know I just, I needed to reach the 80/20 so I was struggling and talking to a lot of people.”

The 80/20 rule says that if 80 percent agree to be annexed then the other 20 percent can be annexed involuntarily. The City of Ankeny released a statement on the annexation issue: “The City of Ankeny does not seek out property owners to annex into Ankeny. We respond to requests to annex into the City. With the Hope Kimberley annexation there is more than 96% of properties who have consented and less than 4% are non-consenting. A Public Hearing set for the June 6 City Council for this annexation.”

The City of Ankeny has a comprehensive plan to address planned growth. That includes brining sewer lines into the area, and being ready with police and fire protection.

Mayor Kramme said he expects this could go to the City Development Board, an agency which hears such disputes between annexing jurisdictions.  That could possibly happen in June.