LOCAL GOVERNMENT

A divided Killeen City Council voted to move forward with two development companies’ requests for annexation Tuesday.

The next step is for city staff to figure out how much the annexations for a total of 159 acres would cost the financially strapped city. The council will consider an ordinance June 11.

Both annexation petitions were passed with a vote of 4-3.

Councilwoman Shirley Fleming, District 1 representative, said she was not in favor of the annexation.

“I heard from a lot of constituents; some of them are for it. Some are not. We as a council do not have the money to do any type of annexation,” Fleming said.

District 4 representative Steve Harris, who voiced his opposition in past meetings to any of the annexations, stood his ground in his voting Tuesday.

“It’s their land they can do what they want to do. Like I said, if they do want to develop the land the way that they want to, in my opinion I don’t want the city to be apart of it,” Harris said at last week’s workshop meeting.

Fleming, Harris and Councilman-at-large Gregory Johnson vote in opposition to the annexations.

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Kilpatrick said the council “should allow the public to hear the petition and voice their opinion.”

“To the greater merit for the citizens to hear the petition and service plan, we should allow for the citizens to make this decision,” Kilpatrick said.

The vote will now direct City Manager Ron Olson to create a service plan, and staff will assess the fiscal impacts of annexation and present the information to the council.

Between April 21 and May 5, a public hearing will be scheduled and posted through local publications, the city’s website and send notice to the Killeen Independent School District.

In March, city staff received petitions from area homebuilder Gary Purser Jr. and WBW Land Investments Limited Partnership — submitted one week apart.

The investors are seeking to have their property be annexed into the corporate limits of Killeen, citing the land as “vacant and contiguous to current city limits.”

According to state law, the receiving city of such petitions have approximately 30 days from the submission date to grant or refuse.

“We can’t have it tabled or postponed because we only have a certain amount of time in which we meet the state requirements,” Assistant Director of Planning Tony McIlwain said to the council during last week’s workshop.

Purser is petitioning land adjacent to 5601 Clear Creek Road, which totals approximately 76.459 acres, while WBW Land is seeking the annexation of two tracts of land adjacent to 7501 Chaparral Road, totaling approximately 83.01 acres.

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