City moves on process to provide water to US 59/I-37 intersection
by By Tim Delaney Progress Editor
Feb 12, 2013 | 1344 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rolling the economic ball along, the George West City Council approved a water purchase agreement with the Old Marbach School Water Supply on Monday, Jan. 28.

City Manager Sandra Martinez said the agreement allows Marbach “to purchase water from the city.”

In doing so, Marbach will be able to provide the water for commercial, industrial and businesses located along the U.S. Highway 59 and Interstate 37 corridor.

Martinez said it has to be done that way because Marbach has the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s certificate of convenience and necessity,

“So we are unable to sell water directly because the CCN belongs to Marbach,” Martinez said.

And the Pilot Travel Centers company wants to build a center on the south side of U.S. Highway 59 at I-37.

“Pilot wants to open, but they can’t open until we get the utilities out there. Between us and the county, we can’t lose them,” Martinez said.

Hence, the deal to sell Marbach water.

“Eventually, the city would like to acquire the CCN,” Martinez said.

She added that no cost is being incurred by the city.

“It’s all Texas Capital Fund grant money,” she said.

The city partnered with Pilot to get the $735,000 TCF grant.

Live Oak County partnered with Stripes to get sewage lines at the north side of U.S. Highway 59 and I-37.

“The TCF is an incentive grant that helps business,” she said.

She said a business has to promise to add jobs to be eligible for the grant.

Pilot has promised at least 39 jobs, according to Martinez.

“This is the beginning of economic growth in the southern part of Live Oak County,” Martinez said.

“If and when we are able to annex that area, we will be able to utilize property tax and mostly sales tax money which goes to the city’s general fund. And we will use that to provide more and efficient services,” she said.

Annexation hinges on a few things, she said.

“We are in the process of trying to get a right-of-way with the Texas Department of Transportation,” she said.

The city’s consultant, Thomas Rhodes, managing member of ETR Development Consulting, said the process is called ‘an authorized and consensual strip annexation.”

The five-mile strip of right of way stretches from George West to the U.S. Highway 59 and I-37 intersection.

The annexation would not include commercial businesses or residences. Both would have to request annexation.

If TxDOT agrees to the process, two public hearing would be scheduled and each mile of the five miles would be annexed concurrently.

“You can only annex one mile at a time, but I have seen it done concurrently,” Rhodes said.

Martinez said it takes a long time for a home rule city to get things done.

“We’re not like Three Rivers which is a general law city,” she said.

A general law city follows guidelines from the state to operate. A home rule city follows those guidelines and whatever rules it has in the city charter.

“So some things take a little longer for us,” she said.

The City Council also approved of a draft agreement with Live Oak County and Old Marbach School Water Supply. The agreement pertains to pipelines for utilities, water storage tanks and utility services for the commercial, industrial and businesses located at the U.S. Highway 59/I-37 intersection.

The agreement needs to be approved by the county and Marbach to be final.

Also, the city approved an order for a May 11 election.

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