Weatherford Democrat

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February 1, 2013

WP officials oppose ESD annexation boundaries

City leaders do not want portion of extraterritorial jurisdiction included

By CHRISTIN COYNE

WILLOW PARK – The mayor of Willow Park said Tuesday the city intends to do what it can to fight the boundaries of the proposed ESD No. 1 annexation of a portion of the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Five mayors of affected cities recently met regarding the potential ESD No. 1 annexation of a large portion of East Parker County, Neverdousky said at a council meeting. “Apparently, it’s welcomed by the city of Aledo. However, three other eastern Parker County cities that don’t have fire service are not necessarily happy that they are being dragged into this.”

Aledo Volunteer Fire Department - following in the recent footsteps of Parker County volunteer fire departments that have sought funding stability through emergency services districts as costs rise and contributions from the county and public decrease - collected signatures from area residents and requested the annexation in November.

Tasked with providing emergency services, an ESD can levy an ad valorem tax of up to 10 cents per $100 valuation, according to state law. Municipalities wishing to annex property within an ESD and disannex it from the ESD must compensate the district based on the area’s share of debt, as well as purchase property used to provide service to the disannexed property.

Though there was confusion for several weeks after annexation efforts went public, area municipalities have found that they have no say in the annexation decision. Instead, the issue will be up to affected voters located in both East Parker County and the current boundaries of ESD No. 1. A majority of voters in both areas must approve the ballot questions for the annexation to occur.

All or portions of the cities of Aledo, Annetta, Annetta South and Annetta North are included in the annexation effort, along with portions of the extraterritorial jurisdictions of Willow Park and Fort Worth.

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