Ronceverte City Council took the first step toward annexing a large plot of land Monday, voting to advance the issue to the public hearing stage.

Property owner James M. Johnson requested the annexation of the 104.814-acre swath, which adjoins the lot upon which Ronceverte Elementary School is located, as well as Greyrock Development Corporation property. Both of the adjacent properties are within the city’s existing boundaries, according to City Administrator Reba Mohler.

Johnson’s acreage is in the area known as Patriot Hills.

With Monday’s passage of council’s first reading of an ordinance to annex the property, a public hearing along with a second and final reading of the ordinance are planned for the governing body’s next regular session, April 2.

In other business, council learned that a former member of the city’s police force will return soon to active duty.

“Jake,” Ronceverte’s former K-9 unit, has been examined by a veterinarian and cleared for duty as a narcotics canine, Mohler said.

Jake was forced into early retirement after suffering a heart attack nearly two years ago.

Pfc. E.D. Shaver will assume duties as the dog’s trainer when Jake comes out of retirement and rejoins the department.

— Tina Alvey

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