MUD

The Bell County Municipal Utility District No. 2 is seen near Chaparral Road in Killeen.

A long-awaited discussion on a residential district bordering south Killeen was a dud at Tuesday’s Killeen City Council workshop as council members made clear it was not a priority as potential bond talks continue.

In June, Councilman Steve Harris requested an investigation into the 2013 agreement between the city and Killeen developer Bruce Whitis paving the way for the 3,750-home Bell County Municipal Utility District No. 2 on Chaparral Road.

After a seven-month wait for that item to come before the council, council members largely discredited the investigation Tuesday, saying the contract was legally binding and should be discussed in court rather than council session.

The item was part of larger council discussion prioritizing items the council wanted Killeen City Manager Ron Olson to tackle in the coming months. In a now-familiar “dotting” session, in which council members place three dots on a list of items to determine highest priority, the council determined Killeen school district road infrastructure, a KISD joint meeting and council protocol were the most pressing tasks.

The MUD investigation and a slew of other items were further down the totem pole.

Harris indicated during the discussion he had new information on the agreement that could create legal concerns for the city if unaddressed but did not disclose what new details he had.

Councilman Jonathan Okray, who alongside Harris and former Councilman Terry Clark voted against the agreement in 2013, said legal discussions should be taken to court, not the council.

“I didn’t vote for the MUD either, but if we have new information about a signed contract, the place for that discussion is in civil court,” Okray said.

However, Harris was adamant that the obligations between the city and the developer should be revisited in light of a potential bond the council is currently considering.

Killeen City Manager Ron Olson said Tuesday the city is proposing a $30 million bond referendum to pay for two road projects surrounding planned school facilities in the Killeen school district’s proposed $426 million debt issue. The council is expected to vote to place the bond on the May 5 ballot on Feb. 13.

One of the projects, the extension of Chaparral Road to a five-lane thoroughfare, is earmarked in the MUD agreement for partial developer reimbursement as the road will service the MUD’s future residents. With possible bond funds paying for that project, it is still unknown how the MUD agreement will factor into funding the project and whether the city’s design standards will accommodate the expected 3,750 households.

“As adamant as some are that the MUD is done, I’m equally adamant in the other direction,” Harris said.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(3) comments

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

Copy: 'Councilman Jonathan Okray, who alongside Harris and former Councilman Terry Clark voted against the agreement in 2013, said legal discussions should be taken to court, not the council.' End of copy.

Question: 'Why was it permissible to record the votes of council persons in 2013, but it is not OK to record the votes of the council in 2018'???? The city administration 'talks about opening up on transparency, but it seems to this writer to be going in the opposite direction as not opening up on transparency issues.
This city 'delays' for 7 months and just gives mouth action to any and reported action on this issue, and in my personal opinion, that just is not satisfactory.

They have 'reduced' this issue to $30 million with 2 roads to be constructed, but what about the debt that this already outstanding???? What about the $27 million shortfall of this city, and what about the almost $300 million that this city already has???? And what about the $426 million for the school bond.
Things are just not adding up to me. They are willing to increase the indebtedness of this city 'without due regard'.

People now is the time to say something so as to not let this city's administrators know just how you feel on these issues. Do you want to let this city administration just have a free hand or do you want to get this stopped right here and now???? It's up to you as citizens of this city, this county, this state, this nation. I will be voting 'NO' on all issues of debt increase from here on in until we get some responsible leadership in this city.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@Cherbear: I agree with you on this council, mayor, and city manager.

It took 7 months for this council to decide if there was sufficient momentum to get a hearing on The MUD deal????

As for a vote on the original MUD:

Copy: 'In accordance with the city council/mayor, during this period of time, December 17 2013: Mayor was Daniel A. Corbin, council: Elizabeth Blackstone, Terry Clark, Jarad Foster, Wayne Gilmore, Steve Harris, and Jose Segarra, Now how do you think this assembly voted​​​​????' End of copy.

As of this newspaper:

Copy: 'Councilman Jonathan Okray, who alongside Harris and former Councilman Terry Clark voted against the agreement in 2013, said legal discussions should be taken to court, not the council.' End of copy.

Question: 'Now why do you suppose that Okray chose to swing his vote from a negative vote to a positive vote???? It wasn't only for the reason stated. You, or most of you, would not let a discussion that said there was a solid contract defer one especially when another councilman had evidence to the contrary. Besides, isn't this the case for a city council to voice opposition to a contract especially if it is contrary. That in my opinion is a city council obligation. You don't pawn it off to another governmental agency. There has not been, to the best of my knowledge, any court action, except that of citizens wanting to sue the city officials. Yes, I am of the opinion that councilman Harris was correct in wanting this city council to serve notice concerning the MUD contract and the 3,750 homes that is to be built outside of the city limits of Killeen.

According to Okray:
Copy: “I didn’t vote for the MUD either, but if we have new information about a signed contract, the place for that discussion is in civil court,” Okray said.' End of copy.'
Continuation of copy: 'However, Harris was adamant that the obligations between the city and the developer should be revisited in light of a potential bond the council is currently considering.'
Continuation of copy: “As adamant as some are that the MUD is done, I’m equally adamant in the other direction,” Harris said.' End of copy.

Question: “Why is this council so adverse to getting into contract negotiations with contractors that have already been let???? I do not believe that there has ever been a contract that could not be broken. But one thing that I am fairly consistent on is the fact that our previous city mayor, Daniel A. Corbin, should not be involved in the handling of any case that has to do with this MUD agreement, and also the city legal arm, Davis, should be excluded from any involvement concerning this case or any other case that may be in any connected to this matter.

Copy: 'After a seven-month wait for that item to come before the council, council members largely discredited the investigation Tuesday, saying the contract was legally binding and should be discussed in court rather than council session.

Question: 'Why doesn't this newspaper print the vote on anything that pertains to any questionable votes???? They used to diligently give the names of each council person and how they voted, but not anymore. Why doesn't this newspaper bring that back as a service to the community so people will know who voted and how they voted,

Copy: 'The item was part of larger council discussion prioritizing items the council wanted Killeen City Manager Ron Olson to tackle in the coming months. In a now-familiar “dotting” session, in which council members place three dots on a list of items to determine highest priority, the council determined Killeen school district road infrastructure, a KISD joint meeting and council protocol were the most pressing tasks.

Harris indicated during the discussion he had new information on the agreement that could create legal concerns for the city if unaddressed but did not disclose what new details he had.

Again, I would like to see this newspaper perform the civic duty and publish all names of councilman and how they voted on each and every vote that comes before the council and I would like to see votes that were not published in the past to be printed including the date of council sessions. It should be some interesting reading concerning who on the city council voted as a block meaning a majority vote of 4 council persons.

What happened to the agenda item that was to be on a vote of 'all council persons on the Chemical plant???? I still have not heard of this vote going before a 'in-session' city council. Please, if you would, record that vote for posterity.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Cherbear

Yada, yada, yada. All this council cares about is give me your money, give me more money and give me all your money. I flat out don't trust them any longer. The city of Killeen's council is really good at 3 card monte. With the first term members you can see they really care and they try but the veteran members block them at every turn. We should have signs put up at the borders of Killeen telling people to turn around and find a better city to live in. This city is run by thieves and shysters. Even our police have to get federal help because the city won't give them a decent budget.

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