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Stockdale suffers growing pains
The city of Stockdale has taken the first step to begin annexation of the Stevens Transportation property on S.H. 123 in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. Two factors -- the cost of extending waterlines to the property and when the actual taxation will occur -- prompted discussion, leading to compromises during the July 8 Stockdale City Council meeting.
City Manager Banks Akin was instructed by the council during a June 24 workshop to explore annexation. Akin invited representatives of Stevens Transportation to attend the July 8 meeting to address their concerns.
Scott Mellman and Allen Tinsley represented the company that set up the business north of Stockdale in early 2012. The fleet, consisting of 80 trucks, serves the Eagle Ford shale oil and gas exploration area.
The council suggested annexation by 2016, but Stevens representatives suggested 2018.
Mayor Ray Wolff and Councilman Becky Adams objected to the 2018 time frame.
“I have a problem with that. We can work out a deal ... but that is too long,” Wolff said. He cited the loss to the city of $40,000 annually in property-tax revenue, for a total of $200,000 for the years 2014-18 if they wait.
Mellman and Tinsley said the city receives sales-tax revenue from the company’s more than 200 employees. They outlined the money invested in the city thus far, and said most oil and gas exploration companies last only five to six years.
“We want to be here 30 years,” they said.
Also related to the discussion was the matter of water and wastewater services to the property.
Akin said the company asked for wastewater services and a water meter to purchase water from the city.
“We have enough water, but we don’t have enough capacity to take care of their needs,” Akin said. He estimated the cost at $42,000 to extend a 6-inch waterline from the Church of Christ on S.H. 123 to the property.
Akin said the city’s cost for providing wastewater is $14,000.
Mellman said he had no problem with the $14,000 cost for the wastewater. He proposed paying only $16,750 of the $42,000 waterline cost, and giving the city 15-foot easements on their property along S.H. 123 and the adjoining county road located north of the property.
The city approved a motion to accept the proposal with Stevens Transportation, including:
•The city will extend wastewater; Stevens Transportation will pay an impact fee of $14,000 for this.
•The city will extend a 6-inch waterline to the property line for a cash return of $16,750.
•Stevens Transportation will appropriate a 15-foot utility easement on the west side of the property on S.H. 123 and a 15-foot easement along the county road on the north side.
•The city of Stockdale will not annex until 2016. City taxes will go into effect in 2017, based on the inventory as of Dec. 31, 2016.
The mayor will meet with city attorney Jameene Banks of Denton, Navarro, Rocha, Bernal, Hyde & Zech, P.C. to proceed with the annexation process and file the necessary paperwork.
Citizens will have a chance to give their input during two public hearings to be announced.
The council also conducted a workshop and swore in Neal Bennett to fill a vacancy on the board.
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