WHY IS THERE AN ESD ANNEXATION ELECTION MAY 1, 2021?
Why is there an ESD Annexation Election May 1st, 2021?
When the north Blanco ESD (ESD #1) was formed in 1989, the boundaries of the District were “the Johnson City ISD boundaries within Blanco County”. When the south Blanco ESD (ESD #2) was formed in 1999 the boundaries were, “the Blanco ISD boundaries within Blanco County.” A small section of Blanco County off Ranch Road 1623 is in neither school District but is in the Fredericksburg ISD. Dating back to the 1800s when there were County Schools, this territory in Blanco County was closer to Stonewall and residents attended the County school near Albert, Texas in Gillespie County. Through the years that territory remained in the Fredericksburg ISD and was not part of either Blanco ESD. Between 1989 and 2007 no property taxes for ESD services were charged to residents, who did receive ESD services. In 2007, for some unknown reason, the residents began paying ESD taxes which they never voted to be a part of. All those years that territory received Fire & EMS services from ESD 1 or ESD 2. In 2018 this error was discovered, and it left the territory without affordable Fire or EMS services. For years Stonewall VFD has served this territory along with Blanco Fire Services. But no EMS service comes to this territory from Gillespie County. The ESDs cannot annex land without a petition from the voter/residents of a territory within Blanco County, but the ESDs also cannot provide free Fire and EMS services. This is the last portion of Blanco County not included in either ESD. The petition is requesting Fire and EMS services by paying property taxes to the ESD, as the voters in the District currently pay.
What is the Process to apply for annexation? Texas Health & Safety Code § 775.051
- Qualified voters (registered to vote in Blanco County) who own taxable real property in a defined territory that is not included in the ESD Districts may file a petition with the ESD board requesting the inclusion of the territory in the District. A valid petition for inclusion into BCESD2 was filed with Blanco County ESD No. 2 on December 15, 2020.
- Once a valid petition is received it sets in motion requirements for the ESD to hold a public hearing. The Public hearing was ordered on December 15, 2020.
- The BCESD2 Board of Commissioners approved the annexation request petiton and ordered a hearing on the petition to include the territory in the District. The hearing was held on January 19, 2021 via Zoom due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- After the hearing the board found that annexation of the territory into the district would be feasible and would benefit the district, the board approved the annexation by a resolution entered in its minutes. The board included all of the territory described in the petition.
- Two elections must be held. One is for District voters and the other for voters in the territory to be annexed. All voters registered in Blanco County living in that territory will be eligible to vote, and all elegible voters in the District will vote. Both elections must pass for inclusion into the District. An Election Order for an election on May 1, 2021was approved January 19, 2021. The Notice of the Election was posted at the Blanco County Election website February 12, 2021. The Notice is also posted on the BCESD2 webpage bcesd2.com and is posted in the territory at Ranch Road 1623 and Maenius Rd.
- The election ballots shall be printed to provide for voting FOR or AGAINST the inclusion. A sample ballot is attached and is on the ESD website, bcesd2.com, or on the County Election website, http://www.co.blanco.tx.us/page/blanco.Elections see IMMEDIATE NOTICES .at the bottom of the page.
- Annexation of a territory is final when approved by a majority of the votes in the District and by a majority of the voters in the territory to be annexed. All voting will be held at the Blanco County Library in a joint election with the Blanco County South Library District on Saturday May 1, 2021.
NOTE: The South Blanco Library District is also holding an election for Board Members at the same place with the same voting hours as the ESD. Information is available on the Library website www.blancolib.org and County website where information about all May 1, 2021 elections is posted, http://www.co.blanco.tx.us/page/blanco.Elections.