City begins process of involuntary annexation

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By SHELLY WILKISON

The Liberty Hill City Council adopted a resolution Monday to initiate involuntarily annexation of 329.8 acres into the city limits — 66 properties city staff says is already receiving city water service.

Many of the residential properties are located on River View Road and Deep Lake Drive near LifeSprings Church, and along SH 29 on the west side of the Orchard Ridge subdivision.

Among the commercial properties proposed for involuntary annexation include Union Hall Baptist Church and Rockpointe Church and First Texas Bank.

Effected property owners will be notified by mail in the coming days of the pending annexation and two public hearings scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. Dec. 21 at the City Council Chamber.

Senior Planner Sally McFeron said the land to be annexed is about 13.8 percent of the current size of the city limits.

The last time the City conducted an involuntary annexation was in 2015 when it annexed about 300 acres.

Following a 90-minute executive session, the Council voted unanimously to approve salary adjustments for multiple city staff positions as recommended in a Council-commissioned salary study. The study, which was revealed in October, sought to move Liberty Hill city salaries to the midpoint of comparable positions in neighboring cities.

City Administrator Greg Boatright said most will see a 17-18 percent pay increase effective immediately.

The actual salaries approved by Council were not available at press time late Monday night.

Also this week, the Council selected Classic Bank to provide its banking services for a three-year period. The City sought bids from local banks, and received proposals from Classic Bank and Union State Bank.

The Council also adopted a resolution authorizing the application to the General Land Office for a Community Development Block Grant for projects related to the 2015-2016 Presidentially Declared Disasters under Disaster Recovery Funding.

Boatright said the City had identified Jenks Branch subdivision as an area subjected to flooding that could be assisted by drainage improvements. There is no cost to the City to seek the grant, and if approved, Langford Community Management Services, Inc., would receive 8 percent commission for managing the application.

In other business Monday, the Council approved:
– A job description and salary range ($58,000-$72,000) for the new position of City Building Inspector.
– The allocation of $16,000 toward the development of branding for the City in cooperation with the Economic Development Corp. The City is sharing half the costs ($32,000) for the services of Freach Design, which will be tasked with developing a marketing platform and messaging, as well as a logo and other materials that can be used to promote Liberty Hill. The Council approved the allocation by a 3-1 vote with Council Member Jon Branigan opposed.

Normally held on the second and fourth Mondays each month, this week’s meeting was called after the Council failed to get a quorum of members to meet Nov. 13.

Not present Monday was Council member Ron Rhea.

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