Eight years later
By Karen Daniels
The property exchange agreement that was originally made on December 20 2004, with Union Pacific Railroad (UPR) is in its final stages of completion. Consultant Lawrence Vaccaro, who at the beginning of the property exchange, was employed by the City of Stafford, but is now retired, presented the report explaining the details of the deal. Essentially, the City of Stafford will swap the 12.13 acres of land that the rail road track is currently on for Union Pacific Railroad’s 14.34 acres that runs beside the track. This property stretches from Promenade Blvd. to Texas Industries (TXI).
Though Mayor Scarcella was aware of what contributed to this lengthy process of closing the transaction, he asked Mr. Vaccaro for the benefit of the viewing audience. Several explanations were provided: 1) Mineral rights to the west of FM 1092 had to be researched for clarification of ownership. The rights belong to UPR. 2) Easements that the City of Stafford had documents of ownership on were not recorded. 3) Delay on the part of UPR.
Vaccaro explained that “if UPR asked a question, the City got back to them in two weeks. If the City asked a question, UPR took two months” to respond. An uptick of urgency in the last six months was pushed by UPR. Mayor Scarcella said, “UPR wants to double-track through Stafford and that is what lead to this becoming finalized.” No money exchanged hands, though the value given for title purposes was $3 per square foot, making the total value just over $3 million.