The lawyers cited breach of contract and failure to work out a compromise with owners of the water system to provide clean water to Bee County residents.
“It’s regrettable that we were forced to file this lawsuit to protect the health and well-being of the Blueberry Hill community,” said Linda Unger.
The owner of Blueberry Hill Water Works and Abeja Properties said she decided to file the suit after more than five years of trying unsuccessfully to reach an agreement with the city and county.
“I grew up in Beeville and I’m just trying to get safe, sustainable drinking water and to provide much-needed, affordable housing for the area,” Unger said.
The plaintiff in the suit said that in September 2009, Beeville and Bee County were awarded a $500,000 grant from the state to help finance water improvements to the city’s water system and to help improve Blueberry Hill’s water distribution system.
The city also was to provide wholesale water to Blueberry Hill’s customers.
“However, neither the city nor the county has used the grant funds to make the necessary improvements to the water system,” Unger said.
The suit also contends that in March 2011 the city began discussions regarding an annexation plan for areas adjacent to the city limits.
Unger said that plan would include “all of the land within the Blueberry Hill’s certified water service area and all of the land owned by Abeja Properties on the western edge of Beeville’s corporate limits.”
She said annexation of that land would allow Beeville to control the proposed new developments by Abeja and the annexation would allow Beeville to control the provision of water utility service by Blueberry Hill in its certificated water service area.
When contacted on the morning of May 12, City Attorney Frank Warner said he had no comment on the suit itself.
However, Warner said any talk by the City Council on the subject of annexation came during a “general discussion during a workshop session.”
Warner said the city has never discussed any specific plans to annex the Blueberry Hill area.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.