By Bill Short
Residents of the Lucy community have voted to be annexed into the city of Millington, while those in Kerrville have rejected the proposal.
A total of 205 Lucy residents, or 52 percent of the 393 who cast ballots, voted for the annexation referendum, and 188, or 47 percent, voted against it.
In Kerrville, 121 residents, or 83 percent of those who cast ballots, voted against the referendum, while 24 or 16 percent voted for it.
At a June 14 special called meeting, the Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously passed an ordinance on final reading that was designed to annex the Lucy community into the city limits. The ordinance had been unanimously passed on first and second readings at special meetings on May 15 and 21, respectively.
Shortly before the Lucy annexation was to go into effect on July 14, attorney Claiborne Ferguson filed a lawsuit challenging its “reasonableness,” which effectively halted the annexation.
At an Aug. 27 special called meeting, the board unanimously passed an ordinance on final reading that repealed the annexation ordinance. It had been unanimously passed on first reading at the board’s Aug. 6 regular meeting and on second reading at an Aug. 20 special meeting.
City Attorney Barbara Lapides said repealing the annexation ordinance would render Ferguson’s lawsuit “moot.”
But because it believed many people in the Lucy community wanted to be annexed into the city, the board adopted a resolution calling for the “referendum of annexation.”
Regarding the Kerrville annexation referendum, Interim Mayor Linda Carter has said that at least 10 years ago, when she was an alderman and a member of the Millington Municipal Airport Authority, there was “much discussion” about extending the airport’s 8,000-foot runway. She said that was about the same time that Federal Express contracted with the city for the airport to be the company’s alternate landing site.
The mayor said the Airport Authority members realized that they had to do something so no one would construct apartment complexes or houses of any type at the end of the runway.
In 2008, Carter did not seek re-election to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and resigned from the Airport Authority.
During the next two years, she said, it became apparent that the runway would be extended approximately 2,000 feet in the “very near future” to accommodate FedEx’s larger airplanes, and that 2,000-foot encroachment would further impact all the property at the end of the runway.
About 18 months ago, Carter recalled, an individual expressed interest in constructing an apartment complex or townhouses on property that is for sale at the intersection of Bethuel and Mudville roads.
So, Millington decided to consider annexing some of the residences that had been “carved out” when it annexed Edmund Orgill Park several years ago. And, at the same time, annex two “very large parcels” at the north end of the runway.
When it became apparent that the city was looking at that, Carter said, “someone down the road” asked if he could be annexed, and then another person wanted to be considered. So, the city decided to propose annexing almost to the county line and eastwardly along it.
At the Aug. 27 special meeting, the board unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the “referendum of annexation.”