Saturday, July 8, 2017


By Juan Montoya
Image result for OVER ANNEXATIONIn the same meeting Tuesday where members of the City of Brownsville Commission will be asked to approve the annexation of a 1.25-acre lot in the city's northside petitioned by the property owner and nearby residents, they will also be asked to approve agreements which will scale back previous annexations that triggered lawsuits by the City of Los Fresnos, Bayview and Indian Lake.

The cities of Laguna Vista and Port Isabel's disputes with Brownsville over its annexation claims are not included in this Tuesday's agenda.

In three separate items in the agenda, the city has agreed with the three other municipalities not to surround them through its annexation schemes and to scale back its ETJ claims.   

The resolution reads: Whereas, both Brownsville and Los Fresnos have expressed a willingness to opt out of the ETJ calculation provided by Texas Local Government Code §42.0235(a), pursuant to newly-amended and enacted §42.0235(a) and (d), and continue to calculate their ETJ using the same scheme employed in the rest of the State, as voluntarily modified by those interlocal agreements. 

It should be noted that all municipalities, Brownsville, Los Fresnos, Indian Lake an Bayview, in claiming land outside their boundaries and the ETJ, are required to provide the following services to residents in the areas being annexed within 90 days.

1. Police Protection: Police protection shall be provided to the tract immediately upon annexation. Police protection shall include traffic control enforcement, crime prevention activities, police patrol, crime investigation and emergency medical response. 

2. Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services: The City of Brownsville will provide first response fire and EMS service from Fire Station #9. 

3. Solid Waste Collection: The collection and disposal of solid waste will be extended to the area within thirty (30) days on the same basis as other residential and institutional customers. Disposal of all solid waste will be at the municipal sanitary landfill. 

4. Public Water and Sewer Services: Depending on public utility with jurisdiction. 

5. Maintenance of Roads and Streets: Public roads and streets will be maintained on the effective date of the annexation in the same manner as all roads and streets within the city limits. Road maintenance consists of repair of paving, maintenance of traffic lights, controls and signals, and will be provided immediately upon annexation. City ordinances require that street lighting of all new developments be provided by the developer. 

6. Maintenance of Parks, Playgrounds, and Swimming Pools: No public parks, playgrounds, or swimming pools are located within the tract. All recreational facilities required by the development shall be provided at the expense of the developer, its successors and assigns, at such time as warranted by the development. 

7. Maintenance of Other Public Facilities: All facilities required by the development shall be provided at the expense of the developer, its successors and assigns, or jointly in cooperation with the City at such time as warranted by the development.

Some Brownsville residents would contend that the city is doing a dismal job providing those services within the existing city limits and cannot possibly extend them to the annexed areas around Los Fresnos, Bayview and Indian Lake. But until the surrounding cities – and the residents within those areas – hold the city's feet to fire and demand they be provided, the land grab will continue unabated.

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