By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS – The City Council at a special meeting on Tuesday approved an agreement with Belton over the possible expansion of their extraterritorial jurisdictions.

Also, the council took no action after meeting with the city attorney about an ordinance Nolanville approved last week.

The council met in a closed meeting for more than 30 minutes to consider litigation over the ordinance, approved Dec. 9, which concerns Nolanville's population reaching 5,000 people and how that would affect its ETJ.

If a city reaches 5,000, it expands its ETJ to a mile instead of a half-mile, said Bennett Sandlin of the Texas Municipal League.

Harker Heights' ETJ also might expand because of its pending annexation. If it does, Nolanville's and Heights' ETJs could expand into the same currently unclaimed area.

After the closed meeting with attorney Burk Roberts, the council announced it took no action on the agenda item.

Belton, which is trying to complete an annexation, came to Harker Heights with a proposed agreement about the cities' abutting ETJ boundaries, Steve Carpenter, Harker Heights city manager, told the council Tuesday.

"Basically, we are agreeing to exchange ETJs when one of us finishes the annexation," Carpenter said.

The agreement basically follows property lines to keep the entirety of a person's property under one entity's ETJ, Carpenter said.

There is an attempt to have all of one property inside the city's ETJ, so if it's subdivided, it doesn't have to follow both cities' ordinances, Carpenter said.

Council member Bobby Hoxworth was concerned that Harker Heights was surrendering future city land to Belton.

"It looks like we are giving up a lot more than were are getting," Hoxworth said.

Carpenter said that he didn't think so.

During a workshop, the council discussed:

The engineering behind the Indian Trail reconstruction project, its estimated cost, the project's phasing and when officials can expect to go out for construction bids. The road-widening project has been under consideration for a number of months.

The irrigation ordinance that is required by the Texas House and concerns that the city staff should handle before the City Council votes on it.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7554.

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