Family-owned cotton business opposing city annexation

Updated: Apr. 12, 2018 at 4:02 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - On the west side of Upland Avenue, just south of 34th Street, you will find Samuel Jackson, Incorporated.

"The company began back really in the 1920s with my grandfather," Chris Jackson said.

Jackson runs the company with his two daughters.

This fourth-generation business is all about cotton.

"We are involved either in drying cotton to help better clean it up or, on the other side of the gin, in re-moisturizing cotton for better hydraulic pressures and yield for the grower," Jackson said.

A 1999 annexation put the original building on Jackson's property within city limits.

Over the years, the Jackson's business expanded, with a good portion of the business outside of city limits.

Jackson said this first became a problem in 2015, when they wanted to expand their occupied space.

"We couldn't receive a building permit because there wasn't a fire hydrant. Our frustration grew from a city telling us that we can't get a building permit because the city hasn't put a fire hydrant in," Jackson said.

The Jacksons needed a way to address their high-volume water needs and dwindling groundwater supplies, so they started capturing and purifying rainwater on an industrial scale.

"We just finished the longest recorded period with no precipitation in Lubbock, 99 days. Our water resources still had 30 percent left. So, we could go all the way to the first week of June. It is a 21st century twist on something ages old," Jackson said.

While the city's proposed annexation means the Jacksons' business would no longer be split down the middle, it is not something they want.

"I don't want to be handcuffed by a one-size fits all regulatory environment," Jackson said.

That may not be a strong enough argument for city council.

"He has talked to the city manager, but we've not been able to get any detail on what he is talking about, how it would stifle innovation. I don't have enough detail on how that would stifle his innovation if it was annexed," said Councilwoman Latrelle Joy.

If council votes to pass this involuntarily annexation, there are questions as to just how much money homeowners and business owners like the Jacksons will have to pay for infrastructure projects, concerns Senator Charles Perry says need to be addressed.

"I think this is just common sense policy that if you going to do it, You should pay for them as a jurisdiction," Perry said.

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