• September 21, 2014

Killeen to vote Tuesday on MUD

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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013 4:30 am

The Killeen City Council is set to vote Tuesday on an agreement to allow a nearly 1,400-acre subdivision to be developed in the city’s extraterritorial district.

If approved, Bell County Municipal District No. 2 would bring about 3,750 homes south of the intersection of Chaparral and Trimmier roads over the next 15 to 20 years.

The development, named Turnbo Ranch, would create a new taxing entity in Bell County. The tax revenue from MUD-2 would help the developer, Bruce Whitis, pay for the development’s infrastructure.

MUD-1 — also owned by Whitis — is near Belton.

In a 4-3 vote in March, the council denied the project after tense negotiations about the future of the city’s development.

Among the sticking points were the cost of an elevated storage tank, lighting standards and building specifications.

After losing the vote in March, Whitis began a new process, which would allow him to establish MUD-2 with or without the city’s consent through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

“TCEQ is very clear,” said Scott Osburn, city attorney for planning. “If the applicant meets the burden, then TCEQ shall consent to the creation of the MUD.”

One stipulation requires Whitis to obtain water and sewer services for his development, which Whitis hopes Killeen will provide.

Over the past three months, through continued closed-session negotiations with the council, Whitis has made several concessions, including paying $2.5 million for the construction of an elevated water storage tank.

Whitis also agreed to pay $4.1 million in construction on Chaparral Road and to cap the amount of homes in the development at 3,000, Osburn said. Previously the development was supposed to be as large as 4,500 homes.

Tough decisions

During discussions at Tuesday’s workshop, the council was presented with a summary of the agreement.

Councilman Terry Clark said that he is more willing to accept the terms of the new agreement than with the last draft.

“There’s a lot of what-ifs when you are looking at a 50-page document,” Clark said.

“I had a lot of reservations in March, but I feel much more comfortable here than in July.”

Mayor Dan Corbin, who does not have a vote, said it might be time to consent to the agreement.

“When I look at it, I look at what are the alternatives to this,” Corbin said.

“I think we have made some great improvements through negotiations, and the question is: Can we push the developer anymore than we already have?”

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5 comments:

  • nulisecundus posted at 8:57 am on Tue, Jul 30, 2013.

    nulisecundus Posts: 88

    [sad]it would seem our local politicians are no different than the bums in Washington they do what suits themselves, not what the majority want.there are more factors involved than just water and sewer issues; police and fire protection, solid waste, involve hiring more people and more expensive equipment, fuel costs insurance, retirement funding, the list is endless.

     
  • Alvin posted at 4:05 pm on Mon, Jul 29, 2013.

    Alvin Posts: 197


    I don't think the city is going to reap any tremendous amount of money off this project. This project was envisioned as a means of solving the land developer dilemma. What they are going to achieve is what the water/waste water will bring in. Big outlay, small return. As to city taxes, nope there will not be any. Now they will have to work with the Sheriff's department or come to Killeen. Now there's what will happen. This group will approach the city. The city will welcome them with open arms. They will have to open the flood gates for new officers. All of this for an unincorporated parcel of land. That's what I envision. Oh and the water is going to come from Stillhouse, on the South side.

     
  • Eliza posted at 5:23 pm on Sun, Jul 28, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 766

    I was wondering about the water bit myself. 3000 homes with even just an average of 4 people to a home, figure it out on water usage .
    Doesn't' the council remember that at times ,the citizens who live 'inside' the city are told to conserve water.
    I guess the main thing is who can make a name for themselves for the time being, and its easy to see who seems to be desperate to help get this deal through.
    But when its proven it was a bum deal, the one/s involved will use the old ,head in the sand and cry that they're arm was twisted or they had nothing to do with it.Too late then.
    It will be interesting to watch and see how this turns out. If it does,
    Remember when elections come and who voted in which way.

     
  • nulisecundus posted at 3:55 pm on Sun, Jul 28, 2013.

    nulisecundus Posts: 88

    JUST WHERE IS THE WATER GOING TO COME FROM TO SUPPORT 3000 HOMES?
    WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A SERIOUS DROUGHT YES, IT WOULD BRING MORE TAX DOLLARS FOR THE COUNCIL TO SPEND ON bs PROJECTS, MAYBE MORE TAX MONEY TO BUILD SIDEWALKS AND CURBS IN THE " DOWNTOWN GHETTO.[smile][wink][sad]

     
  • Alvin posted at 3:50 pm on Sun, Jul 28, 2013.

    Alvin Posts: 197

    They are at it again, or still. Trying to saddle the city of Killeen with what I think is a boon doggle. And all of this was conducted 'for the last 3 months behind closed doors'. It is getting to be a coming plan, to conduct business behind closed doors. According to the city fathers, all we are trying to do is 'give' Mr. Whitis, who currently owns MUD-1 and is currently trying to get the city to go along with him on the development of MUD-2. All the city has to do is plan and build a water/waste water infrastructure, which includes all piping for treated water from Stillhouse lake through a city supplied water treatment facility, provide planning for the future lighting and building standards and specifications, and provide all waste water from the future housing development. Mr. Whitis has consented to building the elevated water tower which would head pressure for the future residents from the city of Killeen treated water that would be supplied from Stillhouse lake. All of this to be in an unincorporated area just South of the intersection of Chaparral and Trimmier roads. As I understand it, this area will not be incorporated for the next 15 to 20 years. Why are we obligating this city so that an individual can make money?

    The city legal staff is quoted as saying that “TCEQ is very clear,” said Scott Osburn, city attorney for planning. “If the applicant meets the burden, then TCEQ shall consent to the creation of the MUD.”

    One stipulation requires Whitis to obtain water and sewer services for his development, which Whitis hopes Killeen will provide. If Mr. Whitis cannot get the city to 'provide these essential services, he cannot get the go ahead of TCEQ'.

    As quoted, 'In a 4-3 vote in March, the council denied the project after tense negotiations about the future of the city’s development.
    Among the sticking points were the cost of an elevated storage tank, lighting standards and building specifications'.
    In my opinion, it's not just the cost of the elevated storage tank, but the cost of planning, constructing a pipeline from Stillhouse lake, but the infrastructure for a treated water facility and a waste water facility to support this endeavor. With a no vote on this plan, what will be the criteria for the sizing of the proposed Stillhouse lake water plant? Do you size on the 'proposed 3750 from the South or do you size for a more modest criteria. Does the city want to 'go to the expense of this extraterritorial district' when they are not obligated to anything'.

    City council, read the document very closely. To me it is a boon doggle from the word go.