By CHRISTIN COYNE
ANNETTA – After months of efforts by nearby homeowners using the city’s water system, the Annetta City Council Thursday night approved the annexation of hundreds of water customers south of the city.
Requested by more than 500 registered voters, more than 60 percent of those owning property in the unincorporated portions of the Deer Creek and Meadow Park subdivisions, the annexation nearly doubles the city’s population, according to city leaders.
With little discussion Thursday night, the council voted 3-2 to adopt two ordinances annexing property south of the city. Council members Bruce Moore and Larry Wood voted against annexation.
The council voted twice on the measure Thursday night because the required attachments, including a map and service plan, were not initially included with the ordinances but the vote remained the same during the second vote taken after the meeting’s executive session.
Last year, the city council declined to accept a petition requesting annexation but, after two new council members were elected in May, began the annexation process and held two public hearings after a second petition was submitted to the council in June.
After Deer Creek residents and other East Parker County cities took the City of Willow Park to court over ownership of the system, Annetta purchased the Deer Creek water and sewer system in 2010.
At the time, about half of Annetta’s population was on the Deer Creek system but Annetta residents constituted a minority of the system’s customers with two-thirds of the water system’s customers located outside city limits.
A group of Deer Creek residents in Annetta’s ETJ requested the annexation last year, citing a desire to participate in the election of the city council, the body governing the system.
Annetta South also released a portion of its own ETJ for the annexation of all the system’s users to occur.
Some Annetta residents opposed the addition of the property to the city, citing concern the annexation would add responsibilities taxing the small town’s limited resources.
Other residents supported the move, saying the subdivision residents already live in the community and the city would have additional control in the area.