By Elsa Maxey
By the end of the year, the southern part of Missouri City may have grown in size. There’s a part of Newpoint Estates, about 64 lots and reserves, that is not in its city limits, nor within the city limits of neighboring Arcola. Plans are now “on again” to consider adding it to Missouri City. This almost happened last year at around the same time, but the city decided not to proceed. It reports that annexation was postponed after some residents protested, citing tax and service concerns.
Earlier this month, however, the city council unanimously approved moving forward. City staff was directed to prepare an annexation service plan, which during the council session was surmised that it would probably be an update of last year’s work. By the end of the month written notification to property owners in Sections 1, 2, and 3 of Newpoint Estates will have been sent, according to a timetable, as will other entities. The annexation process by a city must take place in compliance with a section of the Texas Local Government Code.
Newpoint Estates, off State Highway 6, already has about 12 homes in the neighborhood that lie in the city limits of Missouri City. According to the city, there is also a part of Newpoint Estates in the Arcola city limits.
This proposed annexation will allow the provision of police, fire and rescue services and other municipal services to the entire Newpoint Estates neighborhood that corresponds to Missouri City. There will also be a clear understanding of whose responsibility it is to provide services.
Assistant City Manager Scott Elmer told council that last year, the Darby Lane crossing in that area was believed to be in the city limits. When the city began to initiate a project to improve bottlenecking there and conducted a survey, it was determined that Darby Lane was outside the city boundaries. He said Missouri City then worked on an agreement with Fort Bend County to reconstruct the crossing over Oyster Creek and cooperated with the effort.
A spirited discussion about the annexation by council members included the current condition of the area requiring rehabilitation street work. Councilmember Floyd Emery asked why the city was considering annexation at this time. Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Wyatt said it was nothing new since the city had been talking about it for the past nine years.
“Danny (Nguyen), Robert (Marshall), and I met with them and I got the impression they are not really that enamored with us,” said Emery referring to two other council members, who met with residents of the area.
“I think that the majority of the people that live in that subdivision are not surprised that we are doing this,” said Wyatt. Emery cited what he called real major road and real major drainage problems, the latter of which he was told is under the purview of the Fort Bend County Drainage District with whom the city would be working.
Councilmember Elackatt said that from his site visit, he noticed that the road’s black top was not in good condition. According to city staff, many asphalt roads were built prior to several city annexations some time ago and there were no set standards for their construction. Elackatt said he is not against the annexation, but “We’re asking high end properties (property owners) to pay us, when it comes down to service, we can’t do your sidewalks, we can’t get that done, but of course we want the taxes, but there is also a part of due diligence to provide the service,” he said.
In response to how most of the city’s money comes from property taxes and the city’s need to keep up values, explained by Wyatt, council member Nguyen said that the city’s attitude to the prospective city residents is what counts.
Mayor Allen Owen said that the city addresses issues as it can and strives to provide equitable services to all areas of the city. “They need to be reassured,” said Nguyen.
The city reports that similar subdivisions have been annexed in the past which include Oakwick Forest, Silver Ridge, Waterbrook and Waterbrook West.