Weatherford Democrat

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June 2, 2013

Keeping it separated

ESD No. 3 chief says consolidation, annexation issues are unrelated

By JUDY SHERIDAN

The proposed contract between Emergency Services District No. 3 and the City of Weatherford has no bearing on an annexation petition ESD No. 3 has accepted from residents in the Annetta area, according to ESD No. 3 Fire Chief Pat English.

“It doesn’t affect it at all,” he said. “They are two completely compartmentalized events. One is not dependent on the other.”

Under the proposal to combine forces, introduced at the Weatherford City Council meeting May 28, the city would provide personnel and the ESD would handle the facility, utilities, vehicle and some payroll costs.

“If the [annexation] happens, the district will be expanded, and we’d have to revisit some of the specifics of the contract,” English said.

Three days after voters on May 11 approved the annexation by ESD No. 1 of Aledo VFD’s fire district — which includes some of Annetta North, most of Annetta and all of Annetta South — residents in and around the cities petitioned for inclusion in ESD No. 3 instead.

ESD No. 3 Board President Stephen Malley said some petitioners told him they believed they could opt out of ESD No. 1.

The ESD No. 3 board responded by voting to accept the 68-signature petition — which includes the names of Annetta Mayor Bruce Pinckard, Annetta North Mayor Rob Watson and Annetta South Mayor Gerhard Kleinschmidt — and set a June 18 public hearing at Annetta City Hall.

“The vote had not been certified when we accepted the petition,” English said. “By statute, we must go through with the public hearing. Then the board will determine if they want to pursue it.”

The chief called the issue of whether or not petitioners could remove themselves from ESD No. 1 “a good question.”

“We have no indication from our attorney on which way it will go,” he said.

ESD No. 1 Board President Rena Peden, who confirmed that the ESD No. 1 board has certified the May 11 election results, said she doesn’t see how the annexation can go forward.

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