Nex-ation in Brady
SAN ANGELO, TX - After months of alligator ‘rassling, the City of Brady staff and City Council came up with a plan of annexation for four “holes” considered for incorporation into the city and already in extraterritorial status.
The City held two back-to-back open forums on consecutive days (one just prior to a Council Meeting) and had large contingents of people to be affected by any type of annexation at both meetings.
At times the meetings took on a look of a rehearsal for the “Jerry Springer” show instead of a forum of decorum.
Neither meeting witnessed any pro-advocacy for any type of "move to go forward" with the plan. There was much ado about the seemingly lack of planning.
One lady who spoke said, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
The crowd was informed that no services other than police protection and animal control would be provided. That became a rallying call of “getting taxed for a dog catcher.”
One man laughingly quoted an old saying, “We are from the Government--and we are here to help you!”
One of the sore points was that no update had been done to the lines shown on a 1906 survey. While the City maintained a position that it was potential for future development, some home/property owners were adamant that they were appraised for ad valorem tax purposes as land for agriculture, wildlife management or timber under the Texas Tax code.
The Texas Local Government code requires that the City must offer a non-annexation agreement to guarantee the extraterritorial status before annexing it to these property owners with this appraisal. While some property owners had been contacted and had signed an agreement for a 10-year period, outcries were made that, under Texas law, an agreement of up to 45 years can be made. The City countered that, while it is available, the law does not specifically state it has to offer the 45 years. It is between 10 and 45. In this case, it was a 10-year “take-it-or-leave-it” offer.
After the second forum, the City went into regular session; then members proceeded to go to executive session to discuss the matter. Upon their return, they took no action, and many of the council believed this signaled an end to the whole matter.
At the most recent council meeting on December 6, when City Manager Kim Lenoire began her staff reports, she entered into a discussion on Proposed Service Plans and Proposed annexation of holes 1, 2, 3 and 4. Part of the plan she shared was that the annexation of some businesses would provide city sales tax, which in turn could be used for some of the services for the annexed properties.
People protested this, believing that the proposition was dead. Thus, a lengthy discussion took place, and Mayor Tony Groves advised the council that no discussion, even to postpone any action, was out of order since it was not on the agenda. If at a future time two council members approach the City Manager or the Mayor about putting it on the agenda, it will be addressed.
This threw another monkey wrench into the mix. Just minutes before, a resolution had been passed to allow a fireworks vendor to continue selling fireworks at his current location for five years upon completion of annexation…. To be continued.