When the city of Palmview approved two rounds of annexation last fall, the city agreed to make the annexation ordinance go into effect June 30, to give the city time to provide services to its new residents.
“The advantage of waiting to enact the ordinance is so the city does not have to provide the services until then,” interim City Manager Leonardo Olivares told the city council last November. “We don’t have the financial resources to immediately provide services such as police, fire protection and emergency medical services to those residents but by next July these residents will be able to vote and run for city council. They’re essentially citizens of Palmview.”
City Councilman Joel Garcia believes the city is now adequately prepared to welcome its new citizens. “We’re ready to go, the city’s been ready for so many years and it’s finally happening,” Garcia said.
As previously reported, the city council approved annexing 980 acres of land in the city’s south side and center that came with 3,680 residents in two separate rounds of annexation.
According to the city’s service plan, the first round of annexation had 1,600 residents and 17 commercial properties and will bring in around $240,000 in revenues to the city after expenditures.
The second round of annexation included 16 commercial properties and will bring in around $277,000 in revenues to the city after expenditures, according to the city’s service plan.
The United States Census Bureau states city’s current population is just under 6,000 residents.
Garcia noted that Palmview delayed the ordinance due to a lack of financial security.
“The city was basically broke at this time last year,” Garcia said. “We had to prepare financially, we have a team of people working on our finances, we’re getting more sales tax money and we’re looking at every penny being spent and taking care of our money. Without being financially stable, we wouldn’t be able to do this.”
Last September, the city of Palmview approved a 2.5 cent property tax rate increase that raised its property taxes to 0.5001 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation after a presentation from the city’s finance director that showed the city was saddled with $2 million in loans and back taxes that were not paid for on time and other IRS penalties.
Since then, the city has been in good financial standing, according to Garcia. The city has purchased a $160,000 ambulance to start an in-house EMS service last February. The city also passed a $2.8 million bond to pay for a street-paving project to repave all the roads that had sewer lines put in as a result of construction for the $42 million Wastewater Collection System the Agua Special Utility District is constructing.
The city council also approved the purchase of a second ambulance that will be housed at the city’s second fire station on Showers Road and Expressway 83 to service the city’s south side.
According to Garcia, in the coming months the city will hire more police and fire officers.
“We didn’t have any sewers, now we’re getting sewer service in the city,” Garcia said, “Now we’re getting the streets paved and this will all blow up once the sewer comes and brings in all the big franchises interested in coming down here. It’s way overdue, the city’s been stagnant for so long and the city needs to go forward.”
According to Garcia, city police officers have been going door-to-door to residents living in the annexed areas to remind them of the ordinance.
“They’re going to have trash, fire, police service all the benefits a city provides,” Garcia said of the residents. “This city has a lot of potential. It just needs it to spread its wings and get to work.”