• December 25, 2014

Killeen council to look at MUD again

City could face $10 million in utility infrastructure costs, lose say in project

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Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 4:30 am

The Killeen City Council is at a major crossroads with Bell County Municipal Utility District No. 2.

If the council does not approve an agreement with MUD-2’s developer at today’s meeting, the city could face $10 million in construction costs for utility infrastructure on the project and lose all its say in the project.

Local developer Bruce Whitis plans to bring 3,750 homes to a 4-mile-long tract south of the intersection of Chaparral and Trimmier roads just outside of Killeen’s city limits.

If approved by the state, MUD-2 would create a new taxing district in Bell County.

Tax revenue generated from MUD-2 would help Whitis pay for utility and transportation infrastructure as the project grows over the next 15 to 20 years.

The council tried killing MUD-2 in March, voting down Whitis’ application through the 83rd Texas Legislature, 4-3, because it disagreed with the council’s vision for the future of Killeen.

Whitis then purchased the land and applied for a MUD through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — another state agency.

TCEQ will allow Whitis to form MUD-2 with or without the city’s consent; however, first he must obtain water and sewer services for the development.

Today’s vote is the last opportunity the council has to agree to the 50-page MUD-2 consent agreement, hashed out over nine months of tense negotiations between Whitis and the council.

Among the concessions Whitis made: He agreed to pay half of the cost of a $2.5 million elevated water storage tank plus $4.1 million in improvements to Chaparral Road and to comply with many development standards, such as a minimum 25 percent open space and a maximum 2.75 dwellings per acre.

If the council votes down the agreement today, it will face a future vote to provide water and sewer services to the development, according to TCEQ.

That option would require the city to build $10 million of infrastructure on the project — infrastructure Whitis is currently offering to build — without the current agreement on development standards.

If the council does not agree to provide water and wastewater services, Whitis will have to find another water provider before he can establish MUD-2 without the city’s consent.

If you go

The Killeen City Council will meet at 5 p.m. today in the council chambers of Killeen City Hall, 101 N. College St.

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4 comments:

  • overseer posted at 11:02 pm on Tue, Jul 30, 2013.

    overseer Posts: 45

    Don't allow the Mayor to fool you. If you have been going to, listening to or watching the council meetings online or on tv, you would obviously see that the Mayor appears to manipulating the situation. When questions are asked that he doesn't like, you will see him laugh, put his face in his hands and shake head while making disrespectful sounds. The Mayor is the main proponent of the MUD and is the one that has been setting up the closed sessions on topic. Shame on the council for allowing him to manipulate them like that.
    There are some council members who have still been disputing this but, to the Killeen Daily Herald's shagrin, they have not covered them or put any of their comments and concerns into the paper to allow the citizens to hear both the good and the bad concerning the MUD. It was almost like tthe paper was in favor of it. Well, the council voted on the MUD this evening and there was a 4-3 vote in favor of it. Now we, the tax payers are stuck with something the Mayor, who by the way is talking about not running for Mayor next year but for the Texas Senate, and other councilmembers knew what they were giving us. I wonder if there was any pocket lining in this negotiation?

     
  • wilcfry posted at 9:56 am on Tue, Jul 30, 2013.

    wilcfry Posts: 93

    I'm wondering if the city needs nearly four thousand new homes that far from the bulk of the existing city, especially considering the high number of empty homes already in town, and the hundreds currently being built in half-finished developments already on the city's southern edge... Yowell Ranch, Trimmier Estates, etc.

    I also wonder if there are plans to extend businesses further south. These neighborhoods are getting further and further from restaurants, grocery stores, and so on.

     
  • Eliza posted at 8:44 am on Tue, Jul 30, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 901

    In other words, The tax payers are being asked to get involved in a housing project that may include more housing and more people then some small towns.
    But yet, the tax payers would have no real claim of ownership on the projected town. For 'maybe' 15-20 years .????
    But, will end up in having a lot of responsibility maintaining the project immediately..
    And once the tax payers names are signed on the dotted line by the council, Too late then.

    The mayor says, he has 'nothing' to say and no vote. Although he has talked of the project allot .
    So that will leave supposedly, the council, to make the decision for nearly 130,000 citizens.
    Hope they remember the way they voted , the last time they voted on the same subject of this project.

     
  • Alvin posted at 6:29 am on Tue, Jul 30, 2013.

    Alvin Posts: 253

    This is a re-write of a re-write of a re-write. If you don't get favorable comments, erase them and start again. I don't know whether it's the tail wagging the dog or not.

    To this re-write, I don't understand how the city can say 'If the city votes down the MUD-2 proposal, the city could face $10 million in infrastructure costs and lose say in project'. From reading previous comments on this project, I seem to remember the city saying we are at a cross roads in future water development, saying on one hand we could use Belton lake, which had it's drawback's, or we could use Stillhouse lake with all of it's ramifications. The comments seemed to favor, by the city staff, to be for the use of Stillhouse lake. Then up jumps the land developer with the proposal to build 4200 homes on an unincorporated piece of land, that will not be incorporated by the city for 15 to 20 years. With that came a lot of expense to build an infrastructure, both water and waste water plus an elevated storage tank to provide head pressure for the residents treated water. The city turned this proposal down. Then came the 'secret meetings' for the next 3 months. That's good in a Republic – hold secret meetings where the populace doesn't know what they, the city, is doing. Now it's coming up for a vote tonight.

    The article seems to generate, what I believe is a false fear, that, and I quote - 'If the council does not approve an agreement with MUD-2’s developer at today’s meeting, the city could face $10 million in construction costs for utility infrastructure on the project and lose all its say in the project'. It goes on to say - 'Local developer Bruce Whitis plans to bring 3,750 homes to a 4-mile-long tract south of the intersection of Chaparral and Trimmier roads just outside of Killeen’s city limits' followed by 'Tax revenue generated from MUD-2 would help Whitis pay for utility and transportation infrastructure as the project grows over the next 15 to 20 years'.

    This article seems to generate fear of 'today's vote will be the last opportunity for the council has to agree to the consent agreement. It further embraces the fear that 'If the council votes down the agreement today, it will face a future vote to provide water and sewer services to the development, according to TCEQ'. Then it comes back with 'That option would require the city to build $10 million of infrastructure on the project — infrastructure Whitis is currently offering to build — without the current agreement on development standards'.

    Wait a minute – did this article just say that Mr. Whitis is offering to 'build an infrastructure for the unincorporated parcel and tie it in to the city services so that the city could satisfy the TECQ allotment'? Maybe I missed something in translation.

    But a little later down in the article it states - 'If the council does not agree to provide water and waste water services, Whitis will have to find another water provider before he can establish MUD-2 without the city’s consent'.
    Now it gets a little confusing – is the city going to fund the entire infrastructure program, water and waste water, plus ½ of the water tower construction with the land developer holding the entire project as an unincorporated project or is the land developer, Mr. Whitis going to fund the entire project? I think not.
    And I ask again, 'if the council turns down the application, what is going to be the scope of the greatly reduced water/waste water project?' I would think it should be greatly reduced in scope.
    Just something to think about.