On Monday, Oct. 22, the Jourdanton City Council met with all members present. Comprising the council are: Mayor Robert “Doc” Williams, Mayor Pro-tem Raul Morales and council members Johnetta “Johnnie” Goetzel, Karen Pesek, Jack R. Harrison and Chester Gonzales.
The council unanimously approved the petition for the closure and sale of the unopened streets with alley ways to include a portion of Roberts Road and H Street, and authorizing the city manager to proceed with the sales process and come back at a later time with the approved amount of sale, based on previous agreements.
City Manager Lamar Schulz explained Carlos F. Melick is trying to build a warehouse that will end up crossing some of the properties in question, which is why he needs more space. Mr. Baca with Rakowitz Engineering said it is 1.73 acres of right-of-way in the Lovelace Subdivision. It was platted in the 1920s, but the streets were never built. The owner would like to have these streets vacated. The owner has Lots 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 consisting of 5+ acres. Melick said they were requested to come up with an appraisal for that. After speaking to appraisers who were uncertain on how to come up with the value of the road easement, Melick used the approach of honoring half of what was paid for the other land. The value they came up with was $7,559.
Much discussion ensued, with council member Goetzel later asking if the city closes Avenue H and Roberts, what will Melick use to get to the warehouse he is building. He said there is an entrance off of Ernst Road.
The warehouse business Melick is planning on is based on the one he has in Corpus Christi. The business leases out storage space for people who move from an apartment to a house, or from one apartment to another. People will occupy them three-four months at a time. Then there are larger storage areas usually occupied by electricians, plumbers, etc. Based on the warehouses he has in the Corpus area, no one sells anything out of them.
Melick said he was impressed by the vitality of the Jourdanton/Pleasanton area. While other towns have taken a downturn, Melick had a hunch that this area creates many opportunities.
City Attorney Daniel Santee explained that council has done this process several times before.
“A person that comes in to develop those lots actually has the obligation to build those streets, unless those streets are closed, abandoned and sold to them. So you are under no obligation to close and do that, other than the fact that there is no apparent plan right now for those streets to be needed. They are not necessary for that part of town, is my understanding. So it does make sense then to give up your rights to that and for the lot to be re-platted as one lot and developed. In doing so, there are other unopened streets adjacent to whatever they platted. Depending on your subdivision regulations, they will be responsible for half of those adjacent streets,” said Santee.
He added that normally a city would be required to post and accept bids for property that it wishes to sell. One of the exceptions of this is when you have unopened streets that you hold either in fee or by easement and you are selling that to the adjacent property owner.
Santee further explained the petition process and said if council accepts the petition, they will come back next month with the ordinance that will close and abandon those streets and authorize the sale at whatever price is negotiated by City Manager Schulz.
“The code actually does say that you have to have the appraised value because when you auction things or accept bids on things, whatever the winning bid is, is the presumed value of the property. When you don’t follow that process, you are supposed to get whatever fair market value is, based on the appraisal,” noted Santee.
The city has done a number of these and so the city does have other records that it can look back through and reference how much the city obtained from the previous sales.
Jourdanton Police Chief Eric Kaiser announced that after Halloween, the department would be kicking off their annual Cops4Kids Program, which focuses on Jourdanton ISD students. The program provides gifts and Christmas to children who would not ordinarily have one. Children enjoy an afternoon of food, games and a visit from Santa Claus.
Those wishing to donate gifts can take them to one of the drop-off stations: any of the four JISD campuses, Jourdanton City Hall, the Jourdanton Fire Department or Atascosa County
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Council unanimously awarded a contract to Langford Community Management Services for management/administration services for the 2019- 2020 Texas Community Development Block Grant Program.
“We have one that has just been approved. It will be replacing some sewer lines here in town. This is applying for another one,” City Manager Schulz said.
“Anytime you can pay a small amount of money and get $275,000 in it, it’s good business. I’d like to see it move forward. They prepared the last one and they definitely know what they are doing,” he added.
Council voted unanimously to reinstall the City of Jourdanton Parks Board and City Council recognition plaque, to be reinstalled at the city park by the pavilion.
Council member Gonzales explained the plaque was taken down when the old pool was filled back in. He said that he felt the plaque should be reinstalled with all the hard work the parks board did for the community, as well as city council.
Council approved the consent agenda, including monthly bills and the minutes of Sept. 10, 11, 17, 18 and 24.
There were no Citizen’s Comments at the meeting.