For years, the Rocky Creek Ranch on Chaparral Road in Killeen has been little more than pasture land crisscrossed with dirt roads and dotted with cattle.

But when the property was purchased from late Texas rancher Glenn Womack in 2013, a new frontier opened on Killeen’s southern boundary — driven by a new, if controversial, vision.

The Turnbo Ranch subdivision, a creation of Killeen developer Bruce Whitis, will be the first step to accommodate a Killeen-area population projected to hit 217,893 by 2037 — a boom of nearly 75,000 residents in 20 years.

But the development’s creation has not been without its turmoil.

Beginning in 2013, Whitis lobbied the city to help him create the subdivision as a municipal utility district — a self-taxing entity of which there are few precedents in the Central Texas area.

When the Killeen City Council approved an agreement with Whitis to create the development in 2013, Killeen residents and city leaders were left with unanswered questions on exactly how the development would look, how it would affect the city and exactly what their agreement stipulated.

On March 27, the Herald reported Whitis used family and friends to accommodate the creation of the 3,750-home, $238-million development that is scheduled to break ground late this year. In doing so, Whitis created a governmental entity of his own, with the ability to levy property tax on its residents and issue municipal debt with a board of directors he handpicked.

According to the Texas Water Code, Whitis’ leverage of family to create the district is legal, but raises concerns of partiality and qualifications in board affairs.

In 2012, Whitis used nearly the exact same process to create a separate municipal utility district on the outskirts of Belton — that time with far different terms for the neighboring city.

One of the central differences: Killeen ratepayers are on the hook for millions in infrastructure improvements that are tied to the district, and Belton residents are not.

While the renewal of interest in the Turnbo Ranch subdivision has started conversation anew on the state of development in the city of Killeen, city management is trying to wrap its arms around future growth.

Meanwhile, others are looking back into the past to determine how the city arrived at its current state.

A UNIFIED VISION

As the new leader of the city of Killeen, City Manager Ron Olson has taken a forward-looking approach to rewriting the policies of an often rudderless city administration.

While Olson has been briefed on the Whitis development, he said his interest is not whether the contract was created in the best interest of Killeen residents but how the city can keep up its end of the contractual agreement.

“I have not spent a lot of time to decide whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing because it doesn’t really matter,” Olson said. “It’s a binding contract, and the question is ‘how do we live up to what we’ve committed to?’”

Olson’s greater concern — and one that he has expressed multiple times during his first three months with the city — is the assessment that the city and City Council have not acted with a unified vision for growth and development.

“My sense is that (growth and development) sort of evolved, and we need to get to the point where we are out in front of these issues instead of behind them,” Olson said.

That takes working with developers, a group of business leaders that Olson called “important stakeholders” in the city’s growth.

“The developers are a part of every community in the United States of America,” Olson said. “They are people who are intimately connected with the community — they invest a lot of money, and they are not unique to this community.”

'THEY ALL HAVE INTERESTS'

However, there is a line between being a business leader and a direct influence in local politics.

Residents have recently chafed at Whitis’ involvement in council campaigning through the Prosperity Central Texas general-purpose political committee, which donated more than $25,000 to local and state campaigns in 2016.

In 2016, Whitis was the sole financier for the PAC, for which former Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin is treasurer, according to Texas Ethics Commission documents.

No filing documentation is available for the group in 2017.

Although the PAC did not contribute to any City Council campaigns for the May 6 district elections, the group paid for a slew of flyers with attached mail-in ballot applications and endorsements for particular candidates.

In District 3, the flyers promoted the candidacy of Councilman-elect Jim Kilpatrick and his endorsement from local police employee association groups.

In early April, Kilpatrick and Councilman Juan Rivera — whose 2015 and 2016 campaigns were funded in part by Whitis — appointed three directors from the Turnbo Ranch board to ad hoc council advisory committees directing plans for transportation and water/sewer/drainage in future city plans.

The transportation committee’s first meeting was held Tuesday at City Hall. The members include Kilpatrick, Rivera, Councilman Jonathan Okray and Miguel Diaz, a Killeen Realtor and elected member of the development board.

Olson said he did not see an inherent conflict of interest in representatives from one elected government advising and guiding another.

“I don’t see it as any more of a concern than anybody else that wants to lobby the City Council,” Olson said. “They all have interests, and they have legitimate interests, and they have a right to express those concerns. I just don’t see it as different than any other interest group — of which there are many.”

'GOLDEN TICKET'

District 4 City Councilman-elect Steve Harris had a different take on the role Whitis played in getting the Turnbo Ranch agreement passed in 2013.

Harris, who previously served on the council from 2013-15 and was elected back to the seat May 6, said he questioned the relationship between Whitis and city leadership at the time, including former City Manager Glenn Morrison, Corbin and former Deputy City Attorney Scott Osburn.

“They were given a golden ticket,” Harris said. “This thing was forced through no matter what type of logic against it was brought up.”

Harris was one of two opponents in the 5-2 vote in June 2013 approving the city’s consent agreement with WB Development. Council members Jose Segarra, Elizabeth Blackstone, Wayne Gilmore and Jared Foster voted in support, while Harris, Jonathan Okray and Terry Clark voted in dissent.

Harris, who was elected to the council for the first in May 2013, said the process to approve the agreement was hurried through a number of special workshops — a process during which Harris said city staff did not adequately answer council members’ concerns about the stipulations in the development contract.

Harris singled out Osburn, the former public works director who was appointed in October 2013 after working as deputy city attorney for seven years, as the city staff member most responsible for not addressing his questions.

Osburn resigned from his position Sept. 2, 2016.

Josh Welch, manager with WB Development, said that the details of the development contract refute Harris’ concerns.

“The development is the most restricted project I know of in the area,” Welch said. “The consent that was finally given included design standards, required open space, parks, and amenities so there should not be any concerns.”

'TOO MUCH COINCIDENCE'

Harris’ primary concern at the time was the city’s ability to provide water to the development as Texas struggled through a five-year, once-in-a-generation drought event that did not subside until 2015.

“The problem is, (Whitis’ company) couldn’t build it because all the other water suppliers said no,” Harris said. “I asked Osburn ‘what about the water? Do we have the water supply to supply the MUD and us at the same time?’ He never gave me a straight answer.”

Osburn allegedly said if the city did not reach an agreement with Whitis, the developer could appeal directly to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to create the district — forgoing city cooperation and not allowing the city to impose design standards on the subdivision.

Chapter 54 of the Texas Water Code, which outlines the formation of municipal utility districts, allows developers to go directly to the state for approval if negotiations with cities do not bear fruit.

“The commission shall allow creation or inclusion of the land in a proposed district upon a finding that the city either does not have the reasonable ability to serve or has failed to make a legally binding commitment with sufficient funds available to provide water and wastewater service adequate to serve the proposed development at a reasonable cost to the landowner,” the code reads.

Minutes from those workshop meetings are not available online.

Regardless, the city did find a solution to the water problem in February 2014, when the council approved a funding agreement with the Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 for a $50-million treatment plant on the shores of Stillhouse Hollow Lake to provide greater water pumping capacity to south Killeen.

Harris said he was not made aware of a possible agreement for the plant until very near the agreement was signed — and not when he was asking pointed questions in 2013 about the city’s water capacity.

“That’s just too much coincidence,” Harris said. “It’s almost like we built a water plant solely to serve the development.”

POSSIBLE INVESTIGATION

Four years removed from the agreement’s signing, Harris said one of his first orders of business as a council member will be to request an internal investigation of the development agreement to examine the relationship between Whitis’ company and city staff in the months leading up to the vote.

Harris said he planned to bring the investigation item up for a vote at a coming workshop. Most of his concerns, Harris said, were centered on unanswered questions.

“The deals that were made, none of it good business sense — none of it,” he said. “You have people on the council who already had their minds set whether it made sense or didn’t.”

Harris’ concerns did not end at the treatment plant. According to him, the council was told in 2013 the city would work to sign an interlocal agreement with Bell County to aid in providing public safety service to the development.

Director of Public Information Hilary Shine said the city currently has no contract with the county in place.

“There is no agreement for the City’s provision of emergency services,” Shine said. “The MUD is located in the ETJ, so the county would provide those services as primary response.”

If an interlocal agreement were to be pursued at a later date, the city would potentially need to accommodate the development with more public safety employees and vehicles.

JOB CREATION?

So what does the MUD offer the city of Killeen?

While the Turnbo Ranch build out will be a massive engineering endeavor, Killeen officials have asked few questions about the quantity and type of potential job opportunities the development could bring in the coming decades.

Killeen Director of Public Information Hilary Shine said the city has not performed any form of economic impact study to determine job creation or retail capture from the development’s future residents.

The lack of analysis echoes that of the city of Belton, which also did not perform a full economic impact study for job growth when it agreed to the creation of Whitis’ Three Creeks subdivision in 2010.

“The issue we looked at was the extension of water and sewer services to the area, and we saw that as positive because of the return on the investment by the developer,” Belton City Manager Sam Listi said.

Welch said the development would be a future economic driver — given Killeen can capture the retail potential.

“The MUD will bring susbtantial additional sales tax revenues into the city,” he said. “Rooftops are the largest driver of commercial economic activity.”

The agreement between the city and the developer also does provide for reimbursements on infrastructure projects and allows the city the right to inspect properties in the development and impose design standards.

Listi said municipal utility districts effectively work as financing mechanisms for developers — allowing them to build developments at their own rates while paying off millions in debt over a period of decades.

But as WB Development captures the property tax revenue from the development’s residents, the city will not benefit from that revenue until possible annexation at a later date.

As far as monetary recovery, Killeen will not levy a premium return on its water and sewer service per its agreement. The contract stipulates that the district, as a customer of the city of Killeen, will have water rates that match those of Killeen rates.

“If we get wholesaler water prices here in Killeen, why would we want to give out family discounts?” Harris said.

Olson said the agreement with the MUD is workable in the near future, but points to bigger issues in the city’s planning.

“The issue with this MUD, really any MUD in the state, is a question of figuring out how to work with property owners that have the right to work with their property and do it in a way that is compatible with city plans,” Olson said. “I think we need to back up a little bit and do some work on what our polices are around growth management. That hasn’t been done yet.”


ROAD TO MUD NO. 2

December 2012 — Killeen City Council votes down a planned unit development proposal from Bruce Whitis to create a 4,000 home development south of Chaparral Road; the agreement would have required the city to annex the land and extend utility infrastructure out to the property

Feb. 17, 2013 — Whitis comes back before the Killeen City Council with a proposal for a municipal utility district on the same four-mile tract of land south of Chaparral Road in Killeen’s extraterritorial jurisdiction; under the new arrangement, Killeen would not have to annex and would not have to extend build water infrastructure on the land.

Feb. 17, 2013 — Former City Manager Glenn Morrison sends an email to the City Council directing them to not answer the Herald’s questions on the proposed district, saying the council could violate Texas Open Meetings Act rules by responding; “In order to avoid any potential violations of open meetings law and to allow this discussion to take place in public meetings as intended by the Open Meetings Act, it is best that you not respond to this reporter’s request,” the email stated.

Feb. 20 — City Council extends discussion on the MUD after original plans had the council voting on the agreement with only 10 days of deliberation; Austin-based attorney Ty Embry, an expert on MUDs in Texas, said “We’ve had to move very quickly on this, pretty much more quickly than any situation I’ve dealt with.”

March 6, 2013 — With just three weeks from the district’s first proposal, the City Council disapproves the MUD agreement with Whitis; “We certainly aren’t giving up on the project,” WB Development project manager Garrett Nordyke said. “If we can breathe some more life into the project, we are looking forward to doing that.”

July 28, 2013 — Consent agreement comes back up for council vote with reimbursements from developer included in the contract; “I think we have made some great improvements through negotiations, and the question is: Can we push the developer anymore than we already have?” former Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin said.

July 31, 2013 — Killeen City Council approves agreement during contentious 4-3 vote with Jonathan Okray, Steve Harris and Terry Clark voting in dissent; Councilwoman Elizabeth Blackstone is the deciding vote in approving the agreement; “It’s a tough decision. I like the development. I just don’t like how it’s being done,” said former Councilman Richard “Dick” Young said. “I don’t like the MUD.”

August 8, 2013 — City Manager Glenn Morrison signs agreement with Whitis approving the creation of Turnbo Ranch

November 2014 — Two relatives of Whitis vote in a Bell County general election formally creating the district and establishing a board of directors comprised of past Killeen officials and Whitis’ relatives

Late 2017 to early 2018 — WB Development scheduled to begin building district


SPECIAL SECTION: THE NEW FRONTIER

› Controversial future development shapes Killeen's growth

› Killeen developer doubles down on family ties for Belton MUD

› Belton MUD shows stark differences from counterpart in Killeen

› Killeen needs millions for projects related to Turnbo Ranch subdivision

› MUD denizens will pay the same as city residents for water supply

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(6) comments

Alvin
Alvin

This is the opinion of this writer.
@Pharon Enoch: I too congratulate this newspaper and all of the writers that worked on these various articles outlining 'just what is wrong with the city of Killeen'.
This is the personal opinion of this writer and will continue to be so until further notice.
But I'm not so sure that this 'out town' will ever be included in the city of Killeen. And I'm sure that this 'out town' will ever pay city taxes like the rest of us do, they will continue to 'suck up this towns benefits without ever paying. It is said, just recently, that they will 'pay an equal amount for their water and sewer'. How about paying an equal amount of the pre-funds that this city and it's residents are 'forced to pay'???? What about the $30 million in this bond???? And now what about the monies that were not included in this bond, but now is called for???? And what about the monies that will come in the future????
Now this city manager is trying to downplay what all of this means. A man that 'stole in the back door' now wants to console all of us that are paying for it. Well I'm not for 'forgetting it' and think about calling for an independent council, a council that is not a part of this city nor even connected to it in the slightest manor,say the Texas Attorney General. I feel something has got to be done about the , what I call, 'the rampant discharge of duties'.
This is what I see in the conduct of the Killeen city management in general.
This concludes my personal opinion to this newspaper and all who reads this newspaper.
One of the few who voted.

Pharon Enochs

The following comments are indeed the opinions of Pharon Enochs It has been said "money is the root of all evil" Well it sure appears to me the City of Killeen the so call city without limits had more than it's share of evil. I mention without limits because the evil has impacted land which is not even part of the city yet. I certainly hope those who have embarked on this possible legal but underhanded escapade have problems sleeping at night or showing their faces in public but I doubt this is the case. I tend to think they are are proud of themselves. The KDH has done a great job of bringing all the information to the attention of the public. In my opinion it tells a story of how the citizens were taken advantages of by some folks who should have been looking for the city's best interest but were looking for their own several interest. Perhaps the audit might reveal some of these dealing had some legal faults which might make some of what I consider under handed dealings null and void. I ponder who read and recommended the city enter into such an agreement placing so much resources and money to apparently a private enterprise. This should be a awake up call for the citizens of this city but I suspect as in the past only a few will speak out while the rest of the citizens find out what has happened to their city after the buzzards have finished. God bless America, President Trump and John Wayne where ever he may be.

overseer

I will take the time to focus on Mr. Welchee's comments about the city gaining revenue through sales taxes. If we had 3750 more residents buy or build homes in Killeen, we could have property taxes, waste and utility and sales taxes along with family visits and stays in hotels and the likes. Truthfully, Everyone be honest, how many of you would be more tempted to head to Georgetown for food and entertainment rather than coming into Killeen. Mr. Welch, please try another excuse for why the MUD is beneficial to Killeen. You sir, in my humble, simple but yet, pointed opinion are helping to destroy the growth of a city. Money can only buy You happiness when you get it in a way that is ethical. Even a man without a conscious cannot truly enjoy the wages of his corrupt successes - author unknown

VetA42

This newly developing Killeen City Number 2 is a Killeen City Number 1 Goat rape! The developing city infrastructure is being paid for by Killeen City 1 resident property owners.
The bought and paid for past and present Killeen City 1 elected officials have sold out our city to private individuals and their families.
You want to find the millions of dollars that is not necessarily properly accounted for? Do you want to know why water and sewage costs have sky rocketed and we keep getting told the funds are short in these accounts.
Do You want to know why the police department moved to the area they are now located, how about the requirement for mew fire stations, schools and in general anything else these "private developer has been able to manage out of Killeen City 1 budget at the expense of our tax dollars. Who on the past and present council(s) has been paid in one form or another along with mayor(s) to violate our City without limits as they named it!!!

Alvin
Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer
People, when are we, collectively, going to get off of our duffs and take care of this city's business???
Copy: 'Beginning in 2013, Whitis lobbied the city to help him create the subdivision as a municipal utility district — a self-taxing entity of which there are few precedents in the Central Texas area.'
Continuation of copy: 'On March 27, the Herald reported Whitis used family and friends to accommodate the creation of the 3,750-home, $238-million development that is scheduled to break ground late this year. In doing so, Whitis created a governmental entity of his own, with the ability to levy property tax on its residents and issue municipal debt with a board of directors he handpicked.' End of copy.
But this, it indicates, at least to me, that this man, along with his family and friends, was about to 'take over this city;, and we, collectively speaking, allowed him to do just that, 'take over this city'.
Copy: 'According to the Texas Water Code, Whitis’ leverage of family to create the district is legal, but raises concerns of partiality and qualifications in board affairs.'
Continuation of copy: 'In 2012, Whitis used nearly the exact same process to create a separate municipal utility district on the outskirts of Belton — that time with far different terms for the neighboring city.
We,collectlvely speaking, just sat on our duffs 'and let him push this franchise on to us 'without so much as a wimper'.
Copy: 'As the new leader of the city of Killeen, City Manager Ron Olson has taken a forward-looking approach to rewriting the policies of an often rudderless city administration.'
Continuation of copy: 'While Olson has been briefed on the Whitis development, he said his interest is not whether the contract was created in the best interest of Killeen residents but how the city can keep up its end of the contractual agreement.'
Continuation of copy: 'I have not spent a lot of time to decide whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing because it doesn’t really matter,” Olson said. “It’s a binding contract, and the question is ‘how do we live up to what we’ve committed to?' End of copy.
So, 'are we going to continue to just roll over'????
Are we going to 'continue to to let this hand full of individuals just take us to the cleaners'????
As far as I know, 'we don't have to continue to take it and if I'm not mistaken, the Constitution allows us the freedom, and the ability, to make up our own minds. In the past, 'we have allowed the city council, the city manager, collectively to do that for us.
So now, 'When are we, collectively thru independent free thought, going to say, enough'????
Copy: 'In 2012, Whitis used nearly the exact same process to create a separate municipal utility district on the outskirts of Belton — that time with far different terms for the neighboring city.'
Continuation of copy: 'One of the central differences: Killeen ratepayers are on the hook for millions in infrastructure improvements that are tied to the district, and Belton residents are not.'
Continuation of copy: 'While the renewal of interest in the Turnbo Ranch subdivision has started conversation anew on the state of development in the city of Killeen, city management is trying to wrap its arms around future growth.'
Continuation of copy: 'Meanwhile, others are looking back into the past to determine how the city arrived at its current state.' End of copy.
Now just what does this mean to each of you???? Are you as incensed as I am???? If not,then you should be.
Now you take a close look at just what this means;
The total cost is estimated to be $238 million dollars, and the future homes are estimated to be 3,750. With these two figures, you see that a home, any home, is projected to be valued at $63,466.67 each and do you now see what the selling price will be, ???? but it will start at $100,00 dollars to $400,000 or $500,000 dollars. Now if you look at these above figures, you can immediately look upon the fact that 'This approach is definitely not for the good of the people, but for individuals themselves, or 'we've been duped or fleeced again'.
Copy: 'My sense is that (growth and development) sort of evolved, and we need to get to the point where we are out in front of these issues instead of behind them,” Olson said.' End of copy.
I disagree with this statement. It was not an evolution that has us in this predicament, it was and is 'our own laziness and the fact that we chose to let this happen'.
Question: 'Who was responsible for the hiring of this city manager'???? I believe if I am not mistaken it was the city council who maneuvered, thru closed doors, a back sided approach as this man had already turned down the offer saying, and I paraphrase here, 'I want a more consistent city council vote of acquiesce', and he got it, thru the back door as there was not a public opinion stated on this, just the council and management staff, who ever they are'.
Copy: 'Welch said the development would be a future economic driver — given Killeen can capture the retail potential.'
Continuation of copy: 'The MUD will bring susbtantial additional sales tax revenues into the city,” he said. “Rooftops are the largest driver of commercial economic activity.' End of copy.
Where is this expected growth going to come from???? As it's been duly noted, we have been pouring money, for years, into the development of growth in Killeen, thru a consortium of both state level and city level and in my opinion, it's been just money down the drain. The major operating ventures in this town are 'Walmart and HEB'. If they ever 'pull out', his city will face a 'severe economic downturn'. If the Fort, and it could happen, ever pulled out, then this city will face bankruptcy in short order as 'this is the major source of income for a large portion of this city and the surrounding community.
You can say, it's not going to happen', but id did in other parts of this country, because 'I saw it happen'.
Copy: 'However, there is a line between being a business leader and a direct influence in local politics.'
Continuation of copy: 'Residents have recently chafed at Whitis’ involvement in council campaigning through the Prosperity Central Texas general-purpose political committee, which donated more than $25,000 to local and state campaigns in 2016.'
Continuation of copy: 'In 2016, Whitis was the sole financier for the PAC, for which former Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin is treasurer, according to Texas Ethics Commission documents.'
Continuation of copy: 'Although the PAC did not contribute to any City Council campaigns for the May 6 district elections, the group paid for a slew of flyers with attached mail-in ballot applications and endorsements for particular candidates.'
Continuation of copy: 'In District 3, the flyers promoted the candidacy of Councilman-elect Jim Kilpatrick and his endorsement from local police employee association groups.'
Continuation of copy: 'In early April, Kilpatrick and Councilman Juan Rivera — whose 2015 and 2016 campaigns were funded in part by Whitis — appointed three directors from the Turnbo Ranch board to ad hoc council advisory committees directing plans for transportation and water/sewer/drainage in future city plans.'
Continuation of copy: 'The transportation committee’s first meeting was held Tuesday at City Hall. The members include Kilpatrick, Rivera, Councilman Jonathan Okray and Miguel Diaz, a Killeen Realtor and elected member of the development board.'
Continuation of copy: 'Olson said he did not see an inherent conflict of interest in representatives from one elected government advising and guiding another.'
Continuation of copy: ' don’t see it as any more of a concern than anybody else that wants to lobby the City Council,” Olson said. “They all have interests, and they have legitimate interests, and they have a right to express those concerns. I just don’t see it as different than any other interest group — of which there are many. End of copy.
As I see it, and I may not be correct, and it only represents my personal opinion., 'Once you are bought and paid for, it matters not what the rest of the world sees'.
Copy: 'Harris, who previously served on the council from 2013-15 and was elected back to the seat May 6, said he questioned the relationship between Whitis and city leadership at the time, including former City Manager Glenn Morrison, Corbin and former Deputy City Attorney Scott Osburn.'
Continuation of copy: ' They were given a golden ticket,” Harris said. “This thing was forced through no matter what type of logic against it was brought up.'
Continuation of copy: 'Harris was one of two opponents in the 5-2 vote in June 2013 approving the city’s consent agreement with WB Development. Council members Jose Segarra, Elizabeth Blackstone, Wayne Gilmore and Jared Foster voted in support, while Harris, Jonathan Okray and Terry Clark voted in dissent.' End of copy.
Talk about a full house, 'People like Harris, Okray, and Clark were defeated before they even started' what with the Whitis people that they were trying to outrun.
Copy: 'Harris singled out Osburn, the former public works director who was appointed in October 2013 after working as deputy city attorney for seven years, as the city staff member most responsible for not addressing his questions.' End of copy.
Another question that I have been asking is: 'the vote to acquire by Georgetown a portion of the water that was once belonging to Killeen, and by this move, is Killeen going to acquire the total amount of the 10 MGD that was promised to this city'. This and other pertinent questions still need to be answered. If this city no longer has the full 10 MGD of water promised, then I am of the opinion that this contract can be seen as null and void as we are not getting what was promised. I believe the Whitis corporation is pursuing this and not the city of Killeen.
This has only been 'my personal opinion', but it should 'turn a few heads as to an inquiry of these events', such as what about the 'home vote, 'of certain individuals'.
I continue to be convinced that 'there should be a recall of this election'.
One of the few who voted.

Scot

WOW - what a compilation of articles. Extraordinarily well done, KDH.

So many take-aways but the single most-important to me is the difference between a Belton city manager-centric negotiation versus a rushed Killeen City Council negotiation. Belton has reduced risk and set conditions for benefit all in concert with long terms plans.

Meanwhile, Killeen council members with now-proven special interests (former Mayor Corbin comes to mind from this report) have rushed though a contract with huge risk (only $1,500 reimbursement per connection!) and modest upside potential.

In the future, let city managers negotiate and mandate open-hearing/ballot measures to degree possible under state law so taxpayers at both city and county level, know when "governmental" authorities are being given to way-less-than-transparent entities.

Congrats, KDH

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