The Killeen City Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday to make two voluntary annexation petitions official — a decision made after three months of public hearings and discussions.
Council members Debbie Nash-King, Juan Rivera, Jim Kilpatrick and Butch Menking voted for the petitions, while Council members Shirley Fleming, Gregory Johnson and Steve Harris voted in opposition.
Two local land developers, Gary Purser Jr. and WBW Land Investments Limited Partnership, submitted petitions in March to have a total of 159 acres annexed to city limits.
Purser told the Herald on Tuesday night he agreed with the vote.
“I don’t know why we wouldn’t. The city makes money, growth is good and the infrastructure is already in place,” Purser said.
Josh Welch of WBW said on Tuesday no statement was available in response to the vote.
Assistant Director of Planning Tony McIlwain said in previous council meetings both developers are intending to construct homes in the areas.
The annexation on Purser’s Clear Creek Road property would comprise approximately 257 lots and a school expected to be completed in 2022, according to the city’s annexation service plan.
WBW’s land, on Chaparral Road, would comprise 290 homes at the equal buildout rate over four years — 72.5 homes per year.
During public hearings held last month, some residents voiced their support for the annexation; others like former city council candidate Tolly James Jr. believed the submissions were too soon.
“Since the council is actively thinking about impact fees, why not table this until you made your decision because it will be an effect on any future development,” James said at a May 7 workshop.
Another resident, James Ralston, previously voiced concern about one of the properties, particularly Purser’s, as located too close to Fort Hood.
The Herald previously confirmed the Clear Creek property is not in an designated encroachment area.
Financial Director John Locke said Tuesday there is no expected increase in property tax or other utility rates from both annexations.
Another consistent concern was the annexations’ impact on the city’s first responders.
A service plan drawn up by the city highlighted how the annexations will impact both fire and police departments.
With the petitions approved, city staff predicts approximately 1,700 additional police service calls between the two areas and added response time of up to 13 minutes and 40 seconds for fire units.
Killeen police have 247 sworn officers as of June 3 and the fire department has 230 civil service personnel.
Based on an adjusted police department budget, “the cost to maintain the current level of service for an increase of one-half of one percent would be approximately $140,340,” the service plan on Purser’s property stated.
“The school site will also add to the calls for service; however, those calls for service vary depending on annexation service plan the school (elementary or middle school),” the service plan stated. “The schools in Killeen average approximately 69 calls per school. The (police) department anticipates that the additional calls for service would add approximately six seconds to the average response time for all priority one and priority two calls for service. Fuel costs at full buildout are estimated at $2,468 and vehicle maintenance costs are estimated at $2,058 per year at full buildout.”
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