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Proposed Killeen annexations would increase police, fire calls, report says

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Proposed annexation site

Two homebuilders are seeking to annex a total of 159 acres to Killeen. This 76-acre area located on Clear Creek Road is one of them. 

Two annexation petitions, if approved, would increase police and fire calls and have other effects on the city, a newly released Killeen document estimated.

Local homebuilder Gary Purser Jr. is petitioning for land adjacent to 5601 Clear Creek Road, which totals approximately 76.459 acres, while WBW Land Investments Limited Partnership is seeking the annexation of land adjacent to 7501 Chaparral Road, totaling approximately 83.01 acres.

A second public hearing about the properties will be held Tuesday during a special City Council meeting.

The explanation of how the 159 acres can affect Killeen is in the Annexation Service Plan, released Friday with the City Council’s workshop agenda packet.

Financial impact, increased property values and several maps are included in the 24-page document, with 12 pages allocated on each petition.

The request to start the process of considering both annexation requests was passed April 9, with a vote of 4-3. Debbie Nash-King, Juan Rivera, Jim Kilpatrick and Butch Menking voted to consider the request. Council members Shirley Fleming, Gregory Johnson and Steve Harris voted in opposition.

Why annexation?

Assistant Director of Planning Tony McIlwain said in previous council meetings both developers are intending to construct homes in the area.

“Most of the time when someone is petitioning for annexation, and they’re a developer, the intent is to get access to the city’s sewer and water, and the absence of that access (means) you are relying on things such as an on-site septic facility,” he said.

Purser’s property has a lift station; water and sewer lines are already established. WBW’s land has an existing 16-foot water transmission line located in the “south right-of-way of Chaparral Road along the frontage of the property,” but sewer lines are not adequately sized, the service plan stated.

The proposed annexation on Clear Creek Road would comprise approximately 257 homes and a school expected to be completed in 2022, according to the annexation service plan.

“Estimating a population of about 738 upon full development, the (planning) department anticipates that there would be very minimal impact in the first few years, depending on how long the building process would take,” the service plan stated.

WBW’s land would comprise of 290 homes at the equal buildout rate over four years — 72.5 homes per year. Purser’s buildout rate over four years is expected to average 64.25 homes per year.

According to the 2017 census, Killeen’s current population is 145,482.

Hilary Shine, the city’s executive director of communications, said the planning and zoning commission is not involved with the annexation process and that it is solely the City Council’s decision to approve or disapprove the petitions.

First responders impacted

The service plan also highlighted how the proposed annexations will impact both fire and police departments.

If the petitions are approved June 11, the newly annexed land could add an estimated 1,700 police service calls between the two areas and response time of up to 13 minutes and 40 seconds for fire units.

According to the city’s 2019 Fiscal Year budget, Killeen police have 258 sworn officers and the fire department has 230 civil service personnel.

A statement from Killeen Police Department Chief Charles “Chuck” Kimble was not available at presstime.

The service plan highlighted the fire department’s response to the added time stating, “however, understanding the current situation citywide, the Killeen Fire Department will be able to provide service to these annexed areas with the understanding of the estimated resource and financial impacts to the department.”

Public Works

The Clear Creek proposed annexation, as stated by Purser in previous meetings with the council, already has a water tower and infrastructure.

The service plan supported Purser’s claim by stating that an existing 16-foot water transmission main and two 8-foot sewer mains that can “adequately serve the entire property are available.”

Sewer mains across from WBW’s property located in Heritage Oaks, however, “are not adequately sized so future developer(s) must accommodate the full cost of extending the infrastructure within their development. Chaparral Road is currently designed to county standards; however, the County, impacted cities, KISD and other entities are exploring a potential Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) for proposed widening to arterial capacity,” according to the service plan.

Discussions on the cost will be held during the public hearing Tuesday.

Expected cost

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 (of) 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 build out are estimated at $2,468 and vehicle maintenance costs are estimated at $2,058 per year at full build out.” Both annexations are expected to have other fiscal impacts throughout the city that would be discussed at the public hearing.

Purser stated on April 7, that if his property is to be annexed, the city can see an annual revenue of $400,000 from property taxes.

What to expect Tuesday

The public hearing, which will be held during a special city council meeting, will not be followed with a vote that night, Shine said.

Discussions on the service plan and public response will take place during the hearing.

The property on Clear Creek is in District 4, represented by Councilman Steve Harris.

He has previously spoken out against both annexation petitions.

In an email to the Herald on May 16, Harris stated, “It seems to me that people can come up with reasons why this property should not be annexed but, I haven’t heard one council member give a good reason why it should be accepted except for the water line already being available and potential property tax revenues.”

The hearing will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday at 101 N. College St.

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