• July 24, 2014

Harker Heights avoids eminent domain in attaining land for water tower

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Posted: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 12:00 pm

By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS - The City Council will decide whether to close on a piece of property that will allow the city to build a 1.2-million-gallon water tower at a 5 p.m. meeting today.

Since mid-2010, the city has tried to negotiate with Luree Inc. on a price for a little more than 1 acre of land adjacent to the city's maintenance yard so the city can build a water tower and a pump station.

The city filed to obtain the land through eminent domain procedures in December, but the two entities may have reached an agreement depending on the council's actions tonight.

After filing with the courts to start the eminent domain, Bell County appointed three commissioners to hear the case, but the city and Luree Inc. re-entered negotiations.

"The fact that we were able to avoid (using eminent domain) is important," City Manager Steve Carpenter said. "Obviously we bought it and sold it for an agreed upon price which is better than having to go to the commissioners."

The current agreed upon price is $62,000, which the city offered before attempting to use the courts to take the land, stated city documents.

"I think (the council) will be glad to get this finished," Carpenter said. "We have the engineering done, and as soon as we close on the land, we can pretty much go ahead and go out for bid on the project."

The council will also:

Hold a public hearing to consider an ordinance to change the zoning designation from a One-Family Dwelling District to Local Business District on a 1-acre tract at 3240 Comanche Gap.

Hold a public hearing to consider an ordinance to change the zoning designation from secondary and highway business district to secondary and highway business district with a tavern overlay on property located at 400-402 W. Veterans Memorial Blvd.

Consider a resolution awarding a contract for the 2010 Community Development Block Grant Wastewater Improvements Project.

Consider an ordinance authorizing the issuance of city Combination Tax and Revenue Certificates of Obligation, Series 2011, in a principal amount not to exceed $8 million.

Receive a presentation from a resident regarding the conduct of city officials as well as procedures of handling of residents.

The council meets in the Kitty Young Council Chambers at city hall, 305 Miller's Crossing.

Contact Mason W. Canales at mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.

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