A few more people than usual will be out on the streets of Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate early Wednesday morning.

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A few more people than usual will be out on the streets of Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate early Wednesday morning.

Some will unveil banners welcoming the communities to Kirkland.

Others, wearing the uniform of the Kirkland Police Department, will bring a larger law-enforcement presence to an area King County sheriff’s deputies now patrol.

One of the biggest municipal annexations in King County in years will take place just after midnight Tuesday, adding 31,000 people to the Eastside city of 48,000.

“I’m just very happy that it’s finally happening,” said Kingsgate resident Toby Nixon, a former state legislator who co-authored the 2009 Voters’ Pamphlet statement in favor of annexation, and who is running for City Council.

“It’s huge. I’m very excited,” said Jane Hague, who represents Kirkland and most of its new territory on the Metropolitan King County Council.

Joining Kirkland will improve services to the annexed neighborhoods and will give Kirkland “a much larger voice” in regional debates and transform it from “a middle-size city to one of the big boys,” Hague said.

When residents of the unincorporated area north of Kirkland and south of Kenmore, Bothell and Woodinville voted on annexation, the yes vote was 59.94 percent — more than the majority required for annexation but a few votes shy of the 60 percent needed to authorize their paying a share of Kirkland’s existing debt.

The City Council swallowed hard and went ahead with annexation. The new residents will pay a share of any debt the city incurs in the future.

City officials have told residents three police officers will be on patrol in an area where the county has one deputy on duty. The city began hiring 37 additional officers last year.

Property taxes on a $495,000 home in the annexation area will drop from $5,788 to $4,763 next year, according to the city. When the city’s utility tax, cable-franchise fee and surface-water fee are taken into account, the net household tax burden is expected to fall by $539.

That points to a problem, said Bob Style, who co-wrote the Voters’ Pamphlet argument against annexation. Current Kirkland residents like him will subsidize services to the new residents and the budget will be strained in the future, he said.

“We should have had a chance to vote on it,” Style said. Only residents of the area proposed for annexation participated in the 2009 vote.

City spokeswoman Marie Stake said the city has done an extensive study to make sure it can afford annexation and that new residents pay a fair share.

“We welcome our new residents and look forward to providing our services that reflect our commitment to quality of life,” Mayor Joan McBride said in a statement.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement that annexation “brings local services closer to local residents — from police to permits to roads.”

County officials, saying cities should provide local services in urban areas, have pushed for years for annexation or incorporation of those areas.

Nixon said some of the new residents have expressed concern that Kirkland is “a more liberal city” than they would like.

“I always remind them that the majority on the King County Council was from Seattle” — and that residents can vote only on one council position.

Kirkland’s new residents will be eligible to vote on all seven City Council members.

Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or kervin@seattletimes.com