Some Lubbock County residents are upset with the city. They spoke up about it at Thursday's city council meeting during the second public hearing about the annexation of land in Southwest Lubbock County.
About 20 people spoke against the annexation today and a petition with nearly 150 signatures was presented to the council. Business and home owners say they are not happy about the possibility of being annexed. "We knew it was eventually be coming this way. We didn't expect it this soon. We've been here for two years, we thought maybe in ten years it would be moving this way," said Amber York.
Amber York owns Freedom Firewood on FM 1585 and her business could possibly be annexed by the city. The city wants to annex three square miles south of 114th Street between Frankford and Alcove Avenues. Thursday was the second public hearing and everyone who spoke up about it was against the annexation.
"We would have to pay the city tax and it's hard enough to stay competitive in the firewood business we try to keep our prices about the same as everyone else in town but if we are the only ones paying city tax, that's going to put us behind everyone else," said York.
Mayor Tom Martin says annexing the land is part of advance planning to own the area before it has a chance to develop. "Allow Lubbock's economy to keep growing and providing additional jobs and so forth. The alternative is you run out of land you can't grow anymore so jobs and opportunities go to some other city," said Martin.
But a lot of resident's are asking why can't the city just annex the vacant land, and leave business and home owners out of it. "We'll sooner or later be annexed but there's no reason to take our properties right now when it's just a tax ramifications," said business owner Brad Birdsong of Birdsong Automotive.
"I understand if they just flat don't want to be annexed but again the issues that we have to deal with as elected officials is the benefit of the city as a whole and our future growth," said Martin.
Mayor Martin says the city planning staff will spend the next few weeks meeting with the residents opposing the annex to see if they can come up with a solution. A solution that could cut some people and businesses out of the annexation, but not interfere with the goal of future development.