|Public hearings set for August on annexation|
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
June 9, 2006 -- Two public hearings on the proposed annexation of more than 1,000 acres of land by the city of Sulphur Springs have been scheduled for August.
Following final action by the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, Sulphur Springs City Council members Tuesday, adopted the schedule of public hearings and acknowledged other necessary steps to finalize the annexation of property between State Highways 154 and 19 south of Interstate 30, extending to the planned right-of-way of the State Highway 11 extension.
P&Z members recommended in May to the City Council that more than 1,270 acres of land be brought into the corporate limits of the city.
A number of public hearings on the annexation plan have been held by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The city's Community Development Director, Johnny Vance, said there have also been efforts to communicate with the affected property owners.
The council approval sets the stage for a series of public hearings regarding the annexation plan as presented by Planning and Zoning.
"Our schedule is [on] August 7 we will put a public notice in the paper announcing two additional public hearings," Vance said. "At that time, we will also send notification letters to the property owners in the affected area."
The first public hearing will be held on Aug. 17 with a second hearing on Aug. 21.
"One of these may be at City Hall where we commonly hold public hearings, and the other may be somewhere in the affected area," Vance explained.
If plans do not change following the two public hearings, the council will hear the first reading and hold the first vote on the ordinance annexing the property on Sept. 19. The second and final reading and vote would be held on Oct. 3.
Along with final approval of the ordinance annexing the property, approval must be received from the U.S. Department of Justice.
"We are currently projecting that date to be Nov. 7," Vance said. "We might hear sooner that, but the way I understand it, if we have not heard anything by that date, it is the same thing as approval."
After that date, and if the property officially becomes part of the city of Sulphur Springs, only a few changes will be noticed.