Kilgore annexation opponent expects fight
KILGORE — The Kilgore City Council is poised to annex 301 acres north of Stone Road at its meeting Tuesday, but the neighbors oppose the annexation.
“We want our presence there to be known, that we are against this thing,” said Terry Barton, who lives in nearby Greenwood Ranch.
Greenwood Ranch is beyond the annexation area, but its residents have voiced opposition at two public hearings because the targeted area would bring their neighborhood within Kilgore’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
Barton predicted a heavy turnout from Greenwood Ranch residents for the vote in a 5:30 p.m. meeting at city hall.
Kilgore officials gave two chief reasons for adding the 301 acres just outside the loop: Kilgore needs developable land for housing and a buffer against Longview’s looming extraterritorial jurisdiction.
“It’s to the advantage of the citizens and the taxpayers to annex land before it’s developed so the developer foots the bill for adding infrastructure,” Kilgore Mayor Ronnie Spradlin said, noting many people who work in Kilgore can’t live there because of the lack of housing.
Barton said residents anticipate the council approving the annexation Tuesday.
“We may not have any say, but we’re going to be there for the mere fact to say we do not like this,” Barton said.
He didn’t know whether or not residents of the proposed annexation area will attend Tuesday’s meeting. That neighborhood gathered a 27-signature petition against being brought into Kilgore, and several residents have spoken at the first public hearings.
There is no public hearing scheduled Tuesday, but the council meeting agenda includes an opportunity for the public to speak directly to the council.
Barton and other Greenwood Ranch residents, about half of whom would be taken into Kilgore’s extraterritorial jurisdiction by the annexation, have said they suspect they will be annexed next.
“If they pass it, then basically they’re saying they are up to a fight,” he said.