By Steve Plunkett

The transition of power over the county pocket was peaceful and without incident.
At 12:01 a.m. March 15 the unincorporated area just north of town, and its roughly 150 residents, became part of Gulf Stream.
Pocket residents left no doubt of their wish to be annexed by the town: All 71 voters cast ‘’yes’’ ballots.
“It’s a remarkable result, I will have to say,’’ said Bob Ganger, president of the Gulf Stream Civic Association, which mailed a fact-filled flier to pocket and town residents and held an informational meeting on the proposal.
In town, the vote was 231 in favor of bringing the pocket into Gulf Stream, 27 against.
“That’s overwhelming support for annexation. That’s amazing,’’ Commissioner Chris Wheeler said when Town Clerk Rita Taylor announced the totals.
Gulf Stream wasted no time assuming control. At the appointed hour, fire-rescue services were transferred from the county to Delray Beach, which contracts with the town, and 911 calls were rerouted. Town police took over from the Sheriff’s Office.
“The police have been making door-to-door visits to get acquainted,’’ Taylor said.
The town also sent its new residents a welcome letter signed by the mayor and town manager, complete with a gold Gulf Stream seal.
The letter noted that former pocket residents will have to abide by the town’s design guidelines if they want to change the exterior appearance of their home and also alerted them about getting a resident decal for their automobile.
Town commissioners also passed a ‘‘zoning in progress’’ resolution to notify developers that zoning requirements would be changing from county standards to Gulf Stream’s.
But while police and fire-rescue services were planned beforehand, splitting property tax revenues with the county in the middle of the budget year was not.
“It’s reasonable to expect that the county would not deserve 100 percent of that tax revenue,’’ Town Manager William Thrasher said, adding that county officials were trying to decide what share is appropriate.
The 16.6-acre pocket, bordered by Sea Road on the south, County Road on the west, the St. Andrews Club on the north and the Atlantic Ocean on the east, will add an estimated $69 million to Gulf Stream’s tax base. That would have meant about $150,000 in added tax revenue if the area had been part of the town for the full budget year, Thrasher said.
Also on the to-do list is building a stone column to mark the new town limits at Little Club Road and State Road A1A.  “We want one that would mirror the south entrance,’’ Thrasher said.
Those letters were special- ordered in 1999, he said.                        
                                       
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