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Some Bell County residents opposed to annexation to Nolanville

Residents oppose to Nolanville annexation Residents oppose to Nolanville annexation
NOLANVILLE, TX (KXXV) -

Some Bell County residents are voicing their opposition to a proposed annexation to the city of Nolanville.

Under a proposed annexation plan, 98 properties in Bell County will become part of the city.

"We all came here because it's affordable, it's away from the city and we are not put upon by city regulations," said Wayne Dr. resident Irene Andrews.

The annexation would increase the taxes for these residents on Wayne Dr. because they would have to pay both city and county taxes. This will represent $505.40 for property valued at $100,000 by the Bell County Appraisal District.

“It feels like someone came to your door and said give us $1,000 every year. We're going to force that on you but there's not going to be any recourse. That's how it feels. It just feels wrong.” said Andrews.

Christina Davis who also lives on Wayne Dr. said she already pays up to $3,000 in county taxes for her home valued at $180,000.

"If they add this, they're talking about 50 to 60 dollars a month. That's a lot of money," said Davis. "It would be a financial burden and a hardship. I have two daughters. I have one in college right now that we help pay for."

If their homes are added to the city, they would be provided city services, such as fire, police and EMS. However, residents said they don't need additional services. 

“As far as police and everything else goes, we are part of Bell County so we already receive the things they’re saying they’re going to do. They only thing that they’re going to get from us is our tax money,” said resident David Sears who opposes annexation.

City Manager Kara Escajeda said the fire and EMS services that respond to their calls are paid in part by the city of Nolanville. According to Andrews, they have not received EMS services out of Nolanville before. She said EMS from Bell County usually responds to their calls.  

"The ambulance service, EMS Arcadian, is also paid by the city so they're positioned in Nolanville for a quicker response," said Escajeda. 

Those residents would receive additional services, such as public works and animal control with the annexation, she added. 

Escajeda said the city has not conducted an involuntary annexation since November of 2010 when it became a home rule city, which means its population is higher than 5,000. Home rule cities have the ability to annex 10 percent per year or 30 percent every three years. The proposed 30 percent annexation equates to 668 acres.

"Just share the tax burden so if you're using the same services as somebody who lives in the city limits, you share the burden and hopefully in the end, it results in a lower tax rate for everyone, “said Escajeda.

Escajeda said under the Texas local government code, the city had to select less than 100 residential dwellings and less than 50 percent could be commercial.

Residents from Wayne Drive said they believed their properties were selected for the annexation because their property value was higher than other properties nearby. Escajeda said that wasn't the reason behind the selection but instead properties were chosen because they bordered the city limits and people travel on city roads to access them. 

She added some properties, near Wayne Drive, were not included in the proposed annexation plan this time because the city can't surpass 100 dwellings for this annexation. However, she said they may be annexed in the future. 

The last public hearing on the matter will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Nolanville City Hall located at 101 N. 5th Street. Wayne Drive residents plan to rally in the parking lot of City Hall at 5:15 p.m. before attending the meeting. 

The city council will vote on the annexation in May. 

The residents have started an online petition to collect signatures of those who are opposed to the measure. On Thursday morning, the petition had 59 signatures. Another petition citizens are circulating asks the city to be allowed to vote about the matter before it becomes official. Escajeda said the purpose of the public hearings is to hear from the public before they make a decision. 

Frequently asked questions about the annexation can be found here

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