Weatherford Democrat

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December 3, 2012

Water users want annexation, representation

(Continued)

PARKER COUNTY — Annexation as a solution?

“We just want an adequate supply of water and we want good water,” Thompson said, adding that they enjoy the open space and canopy of trees on the drive to Aledo as much as Annetta residents.

In addition to allowing them to elect who decides how the system’s money is spent, annexation would allow them to prepare for future water needs as the area grows, Thompson said. “Drilling water wells is not the long term solution to our water problem. We’re going to have to get some surface water somewhere.”

Pinckard sees the annexation issue as an opportunity for Annetta residents to gain more control of development that is coming to the area and manage the growth for the benefit of the area.

“We ought to be a community that gets along, that works together,” Pinckard said, adding that while not everyone will get what they want all the time, a rising tide lifts all boats.

“While my first priority is citizens of Annetta, it seems to me what’s good for the community is good for the City of Annetta,” Pinckard said.

The last two times the city has been approached by those looking to be annexed, the reasons given were related to zoning, not services, Pinckard said, adding that there is a desire by those just outside the city limits to have some municipal control regarding development.

Residents of Annetta will still be affected by growth and development in the unincorporated areas nearby but don’t have a say on what happens outside the city limits, according to Pinckard.

There are some in the community who have complained that the area isn’t the same as it was years ago but have done nothing to manage the growth, Pinckard said.

Towns grow or die, Pinckard said. “If we are proactive, we can manage the growth in a way that the community can benefit.”

Giving everybody affected by the council’s decisions a seat at the table and treating them equally is also important, according to Pinckard.

“They are not citizens but they are still our customers,” Pinckard said.

His personal opinion is that, if there is a legal way to do it, the customers should purchase the system themselves, Harris said.

Harris said he thinks those looking to be annexed are going to have a tremendous amount of trouble getting it done and doesn’t think it fixes the problem.

While he doesn’t think annexation is bad conceptually, Harris said, “there’s just not a light at the end of that tunnel.”

Those not on the water system have a different focus on what they need from city government, such as road improvement, managing green space and dealing with increasing crime, Harris said,

The city will have additional roads they are responsible for but won’t gain much additional revenue because there is no property tax, he said.

Asked what he thought about the issue of annexation and the water system, council member Farrar Patterson said, “As far as the water system goes, it’s unnecessary. We’re doing everything we can do to get it improved.”

“A few people are stirring up some hysteria,” Patterson described the dissent, adding he believes the council is representing water customers adequately, even more than adequately, with the system purchase and bond issuance.

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