Council discusses future annexation
No definitive plans announced, but city manager doesn’t want anyone ‘caught off guard’
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Nov. 2, 2005 -- A property owner's request for the annexation of a new residential development area has led Sulphur Springs City Council members to consider beginning steps to straighten some of the city's boundary lines.

In discussing the annexation, council member Joe Crouch said some of the city's boundaries do not make sense, and the city has a need to true them up.

City Manager Marc Maxwell told council members Tuesday night that discussions have been ongoing for several years regarding the annexation of property adjacent to the city limits for this purpose, but that there are other needs, also.

"The idea is that we want to look at annexation," he said. "There is no preconceived notion at City Hall as to what should and should not be annexed, other than the fact we need to annex the future Highway 11 extension before it happens."

Bringing property along that highway into the city limits has been a "foregone conclusion" for years, Maxwell explained.

The city manager told council members that the public must be made fully aware of any plans concerning bringing more land into the city limits.

"If we get into this process and we have a proposed annexation, I don't want anybody caught off guard," he said. "So nobody can say 'Gee, I didn't know about this.'"

City-initiated annexation is a lengthy, somewhat complicated process that also provides opportunities for public input. The city manager said he wanted people to be aware of any city plans and the necessary steps in the annexation process.

Along with the possible inclusion of the planned SH 11 extension, Maxwell said growth potential over the next five to seven years will mandate additional annexations to the city.

"Growth will become the case soon," he said. "Growth has been headed our way for a while, and it is probably five or 10 years out before we start seeing the beginnings of the wave of growth that Royse City has seen and Greenville is now experiencing."

Maxwell cited property owned by the Hopkins County Industrial Foundation and Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation for future development that is not currently inside the city limits, but in the future would need to be annexed.

"It is a lot easier to annex these before development than after," he said. "Of course, that raises a whole host of issues about taxation and is not an issue that we would take lightly."

While growth potential must be considered, Maxwell said that was not the main issue.

"We just need to configure the boundaries so that they make a little more sense," he concluded.

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