City limits to expand in Summer 2007
By LPR Staff
Later this year, the city limits of Lockhart will expand again, this time taking in the Lockhart State Park.
The 640-acre annexation the council voted to go forward with in 2007 is referred to as the Southwest Annexation, and includes property that stretches from the city limits on FM20 west to the property line of the L
ockhart State Park, and back from FM20 to Cunningham Drive.
“This is the only annexation that we”re planning for this year,” said City Planner Dan Gibson. “It”s one that we discussed last year when we annexed north of the city limits, but because of state law, we couldn”t annex this property as well.”
Gibson said he would rather “see where things go, developmentally,” before planning any additional annexations in the future.
District Three Councilmember Lew White expressed concern that the proposed annexation would take in the State Park, which will not generate tax revenue for the city. He asked if there was any benefit to acquiring the property.
“They will be responsible for a limited sales tax income,” Gibson said of the park. “But with the way funding looks for State Parks, if they should vote to pull funding and close the park in the future, then the city will be in a better position to either acquire the park, or to control the zoning for any development that might happen there.”
In a related item, an attorney for the McMahan and Mid-County Volunteer Fire Departments approached the council to discuss the effect annexation might have on the proposed Emergency Service District planned for Central Caldwell County.
“Right now, a part of the territory that we”ll be covering is in your extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ),” said attorney Ken Campbell. “The law says that you have the right to say whether or not the residents of the ETJ can vote in, or be included in the emergency service district.”
The city opting the ETJ out of the emergency service district would leave some residents and some areas of the county without fire protection in the event voters approve the district in May. However, if the city allows inclusion of the ETJ, they can opt the property out at a later time.
The council unanimously approved participation in the emergency service district until the subject properties are annexed and fall under the city”s fire protection.
In other annexation news, the council agreed to move forward with an agreement with Caldwell County to provide funding for material to pave two recently annexed roads.
Both Crane Lane and Old Fentress Road were on the county”s schedule to be paved this year, before the city”s annexation of two parcels of land late last year removed the roads from the county”s inventory. Since that time discussion has gone back and forth between city and county officials to determine how the promise to pave the roads should be honored.
With Tuesday”s action, the council committed up to $40,000 to help defray the costs of paving materials, working in a cooperative agreement with Caldwell County who will provide the machinery and labor for the paving.
Construction on the two roads should begin later this spring.
In brief council news:
The council heard a report from Gibson regarding the collection of impact fees. To date, the impact fees have been either drastically discounted or waived altogether by a series of ordinances intended to promote growth in Lockhart. Despite not collecting fees at the rates they originally planned, the council voted to leave the current discounts in place until a more thorough review of the impact fees and the improvement plans they are meant to fund later this month.
They approved an ordinance prohibiting the use of engine brakes (“Jake Brakes”) within the city limits by any vehicle other than an emergency service vehicle working an emergency call.
The city also approved a bid of $137,000 for repair and painting of a water tower located on Wichita Street.
The Lockhart City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Glosserman Room at Lockhart City Hall. Meetings are open to the public and televised on Time Warner Cable Channel 10.