BY JUDY SHERIDAN
The proposed annexation of the Annetta North territory by Hudson Oaks-based Emergency Services District No. 3 was approved by voters inside the annexation area as well as inside ESD No. 3 last week, though voters in the annexation area split on a related proposition to accept the district’s existing debt.
Eighty-one percent of the 407 ballots cast inside the district’s current boundary, as well as 83 percent of the 24 ballots cast in the annexation area, supported the annexation.
The question of accepting the district’s current debt, however, proved more controversial.
While 81 percent of the voters in the existing district again voted in favor, the 24 voters in the Annetta North territory split, 12-12, with one ballot not counted.
Not a problem, according to ESD No. 3 Fire Chief Pat English, who said the district doesn’t have any debt, so it doesn’t make any difference.
“This affects us in no way,” he said. “The only thing that might be construed as debt is a lease/purchase on a truck. The amount of money is so small; $200,000 is all that’s left.”
English said attorneys have not yet weighed in on the question.
ESD No. 3 has no plans to improve services to the newly annexed area, he said, which totals about 2 square miles. One section is east of FM Road 5, while the other is west of Annetta Centerpoint Road.
“This is a small area, and we’re already covering it by contracting with Annetta North,” he said. “This is just putting it all under one tax base.
“We’re cleaning up around the edges, that’s all. Now everybody will pay their fair share.”
The annexed territory includes land inside the city limits of Annetta North, as well as within the extraterritorial jurisdictions of Annetta North and the City of Weatherford.
Some 60 to 70 homes will be affected, English said.
ESD No. 3 assesses a tax of 10 cents per $100 valuation for fire and emergency services, the state maximum.
Across the county, the Parker County Elections Office reported 6,243 ballots cast overall. Of those, 2,194, or about one-third, were cast during the early voting period.
Statewide, voters approved nine proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution, including dedicating $2 billion from rainy day funds to the state water plan, expanding reverse mortgages, and providing tax credits for both disabled veterans and the surviving spouses of veterans killed in the line of duty.
The water measure, which Parker County voters approved by a 2-1 margin, attracted the most visibility and campaign funds, drawing support from business and environmental groups alike.