After recently ordering three new fire engines for just over $1 million, ESD No. 1’s debt will total $1.89 million this fiscal year, according to ESD No. 1 Assistant Chief Stephen Watson, who is also an Aledo VFD volunteer.
Willow Park officials noted that high-value industrial property, including property owned by Magellan, appears to be within the territory under dispute and could drive the city’s cost up if and when the city decides to annex the area into the city.
Asked which department would arrive first to that area if called, Willow Park Fire Chief Brent Sauble said he believed Willow Park firefighters would get there faster.
“Basically their ESD board president said they will not redraw their lines,” Neverdousky said. “The whole answer is this is a big money grab.”
The council discussed formally requesting a change to the current fire districts and the ESD annexation map, approaching the target area about a voluntary annexation into the city, and sending a letter to the elections administrator and others protesting that the annexation exceeds statutory authority.
Aledo and ESD officials reported that they expected to work with Willow Park officials to reach some sort of agreement on the issue.
Walker said they want to work with the city and be cautious in what area they are taking.
Neverdousky said some of the mayors plan to ask State Rep. Phil King about closing the legal loophole that does not allow a creation of an ESD within a city’s ETJ without permission but does allow annexation of the same area by an existing district.
Fire service district boundaries
The fire service district boundaries relied upon by officials in drawing the annexation map are due for an update.
Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott told the Democrat the fire service area boundaries are decided based on response times and capabilities.