Friendswood to try annexing parkland
The city of Friendswood plans to seek the annexation of 60 acres in Alvin that it had wanted to buy for parkland.
During its meeting last night, Friendswood's City Council decided to have city staff contact the city of Alvin and David Wight, the owner of the property, about the possibility of annexation. Those efforts will be discussed at the City Council's Sept. 28 meeting.
We're going to see if we can't work something out between the three of us that will be mutually beneficial," said Friendswood Mayor David Smith. We know that would ultimately solve the problem for us."
A telephone message for Alvin City Manager Paul Horn was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Friendswood has a $2.5 million contract to buy the parkland, which is just south of Friendswood's city limits near FM 528 and Mandale Road. The city had planned to pay for it using certificates of obligation, but a district judge ruled in July that it could not issue debt for the park without voter approval under its city charter.
The judge's ruling did not prohibit the city from purchasing the property, but the city has been cautious about whether to complete the transaction.
Some have maintained that the city cannot legally purchase property outside its own city limits.
As part of Friendswood's deal for the parkland, Wight agreed to make over $1 million in improvements to the property, which he has started to do.
The city could still purchase the property using its reserves or ask voters to approve funding for it in a bond election, Smith said. He said he remains committed to having the city buy the parkland.
I think it makes an awful lot of sense," Smith said. It's affordable. It solves the overcrowding problem that we have with our parks for the long term. I think it's a really good thing for us to try to make happen."
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