• October 28, 2020

City Council encounters annexation concerns - Odessa American: City Of Odessa

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City Council encounters annexation concerns

County residents speak out against city’s plans

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Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 9:01 pm

Residents and business owners voiced opposition to Odessa City Council's suggested annexation areas just outside of city limits.

Odessans during a Tuesday meeting were shown a map of about 2,975 acres, primarily in south Odessa, being considered for annexation.

Gary Landers, interim city attorney, said the acreage contains several annexation types, which fall under the voluntary annexation category. Landers said many areas are either owned by the City of Odessa, paved portions of roadways owned by the government or are newer industrial districts that have requested annexation.

Five older industrial districts within the city of Odessa are also up for discussion in district 2, 3, 4, Black Gold and Weatherford. Black Gold is north of Pearl Street and Weatherford’s southern boundary is defined by 42nd Street. Industrial districts have a designated lifespan that only the Odessa City Council can extend.

“Since their industrial district is expiring in December of this year, it’s time for the City Council to either annex them or to renew the industrial district,” Landers said.

Ted Tuminowski, owner of Diversified Warehouse, said that while the Council attempted to share benefits and services those annexed to the City of Odessa might eventually gain, he said they weren’t showing the strings attached.

“It’s not just water and sewer,” Tuminowski said. “It’s all the regulations that go with it.”

Landers said that, if annexed, those properties would have to comply with city ordinances on new additions to buildings. He said that the Council could also consider annexing the majority of the locations and carve out property owners that did not want to be annexed.

Landers said that the Council has chosen to renew the industrial district terms in the past, but they also have the ability to annex it and gain more control over future development. He said that the city is in the midst of planning where new water and sewer lines will be. Landers said annexation ultimately provides a benefit to the industrial districts without those services by bringing them into the conversation.

“If you’re in the city and you don’t have water or sewer, you have an expectation that over a period of time, you will get those services,” Landers said.

District 2 City Councilman Dewey Bryant said that he did not understand why speakers were against annexation when industrial districts pay fees to the Ector County Appraisal District similar in cost to the amount of property taxes people in the city pay. He said city functions like fire, police, sewer and water should be a benefit for those under consideration. Council members pointed toward a lack of education and communication on their part with those most affected for there being opposition to the agenda item.

Bryant said that timelines were not being communicated and the costs of bringing services like water to an area without infrastructure would also rack up costs.

“We understand benefits but not timeline,” Bryant said, “it takes a lot of money to take out water to that area.”

Landers said growing pains associated with an increasing population leads to growing infrastructure costs for the city regardless if the annexation occurs or not.

“Michael Ashton, president of MSA Industries, asked Council members when his property could expect to get those services.

“We’ve been on some of our property since 1976, which is built with no sewer, no water,” Ashton said. “We have pretty bad roads, they’re not paved, and my main concern is when will we get water and when will we get sewer? We’ve been doing bottled water since 1976.”

Landers said that the city could not immediately start providing services if the area was annexed if there was no existing infrastructure. He said the city would be required to come up with a service plan document that describes how long it would take to reasonably bring infrastructure to that area, what the costs would be or how they would otherwise provide that service.

“Being annexed doesn’t mean the city is required to sell you water if there’s no water infrastructure, but it does mean the city is required to come up with a plan for providing water to that area or a plan to provide sewer to that area,” Landers said.

Speakers at the public hearing said they want to stay an industrial district and do not see the advantages to annexation for them or the city. The Council will continue to consider annexation for the specific land and hold additional hearings for public comment.


PREVIOUS VERSION: City Council members discussed annexation of areas just outside of city limits to the City of Odessa but were met with opposition during a public hearing Tuesday. The audience was shown a map of about 2,975 acres, primarily in south Odessa, that are proposed for the voluntary annexation.

Gary Landers, Interim City Attorney, said “since their industrial district is expiring in December of this year, it’s time for the City Council to either annex them or to renew the industrial district.”

He said that while annexation does provide more costs to the city, it also provides a benefit to the citizens.

“If you’re in the city and you don’t have water or sewer, you have an expectation that over a period of time, you will get those services,” Landers said.

Ted Tuminowski, owner of Diversified Warehouse, said that while the Council attempted to share benefits and services those annexed to the City of Odessa might eventually gain, he said they weren’t showing the strings attached.

“It’s not just water and sewer,” Tuminowski said. “It’s all the regulations that go with it.”

“I really think annexation would be very good for you, be very good for the city,” District 3 Council Member Barbara Graff said. “You need water out there. You need services. If you had city’s services then that area could grow and I think you could prosper even more, but you have to have the city services,” Graff said.

Michael Ashton, president of MSA Industries, asked Council members when his property could expect to get those services.

“We’ve been on some of our property since 1976, which is built with no sewer, no water,” Ashton said. “We have pretty bad roads, they’re not paved, and my main concern is when will we get water and when will we get sewer? We’ve been doing bottled water since 1976.”

Landers said that the city could not immediately start providing services if there was no existing infrastructure. He said the city would be required to come up with a service plan document that describes how long it would take to reasonably bring infrastructure to that area, what the costs would be or how they would otherwise provide that service.

“Being annexed doesn’t mean the city is required to sell you water if there’s no water infrastructure, but it does mean the city is required to come up with a plan for providing water to that area or a plan to provide sewer to that area,” Landers said.

Speakers at the public hearing said they did not see the advantages to annexation. Council members pointed toward a lack of education and communication on their part with those most affected for there being opposition to the agenda item. Landers said that the Council could also consider carving out property owners that did not want to be annexed.

The Council will continue to consider annexation for the specific land and hold additional hearings for public comment.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, THE COUNCIL:

  • Approved Special City Council minutes, Sept. 24.
  • Approved City Council workshop minutes, Sept. 25.
  • Approved City Council minutes, Sept. 25.
  • Approved a resolution authorizing the City of Odessa Police Department – Citizens on Patrol to apply for and accept; amending the fiscal budget to appropriate awarded funds as additional grant revenue and authorizing the expenditure awarded grant funds from the Walmart Foundation Community Grant Program.
  • Approved creating a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ 1) establishing the boundaries there of and other matters and requirements relating thereto and declaring an effective date.
  • Approved abandonment of two 20’ general utility easements located in Lot 1, Block 1, Law Enforcement Center, Odessa, Ector County, Texas.
  • Approved amending the City of Odessa Zoning Ordinances to amend 7-103 and 21-101 (170) to allow for the temporary housing of workers on construction sites.
  • Approved purchase of a brush truck for Fire Rescue.

OTHER COUNCIL ACTION:

  • Removed from the table to consider rejection of proposals for wrecker service.
  • Approved purchase of traffic signal poles for University.
  • Approved an Industrial District Agreement with CAP Industries, LLC.

APPOINTMENT OF BOARDS:

  • Odessa Housing Finance Corporation: Melanie Hollmann
  • Public Art Committee: Connie Cherrybone, Jim Mosman and Chris Stanley
  • Animal Control Advisory Committee: Deidre Kimbrough

APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS:

  • Board of Survey: Kathleen McCulloch
  • Building Board of Appeals: David McGuire, Mike Stahl, Edwin Meroney and Jerry Morales (alt)
  • Planning and Zoning Commission: Anabel Spencer
  • Zoning Board of Adjustment: Edith Vandervoort

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