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Liberty council finishes annexation with some changes

At their meeting Tuesday, the Liberty City Council approved the final phase in the city’s long series of property annexations of land to the south and east of Liberty along the Trinity River. Two years ago, Liberty Council announced their ultimate goal was to bring a large portion of the Moss Bluff Gas Storage Facility into the city limits. Tuesday’s Liberty Council action was to approve only the portions of Phase 9’s .72 square miles not owned by any part of the Moss Bluff Gas Storage Companies. As reported, the city is negotiating with Moss Bluff Hub Partners, the Moss Bluff Development Corporation and Praxair Inc for Industrial Development Agreements. Those payment in lieu of taxes contracts are not uncommon and in most cases, the energy company subject to annexation will pay the municipality 70% of whatever the companies’ property tax bill would be for that year not to annex them. The company remains in the city’s extra territorial jurisdiction or ETJ but the city does not provide any services- not fire, not water, not police- none of the municipal services cities are required to provide if they annex. The Liberty City Council did approve annexing properties in their annexation plan belonging to the U. S. Department of the Interior and granted an Agricultural Exemption on another property to be annexed that had various owners. Akiliah Mance, representing the City of Liberty’s Annexation Attorneys Olson & Olson told Liberty Council the details of these proposed industrial agreements with the Moss Bluff Gas Storage Companies should be hammered out by the council’s regular meeting in August. In other action, Liberty Council members approved the results of the city’s annual Drinking Water Quality report from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for 2017. Liberty Public Works Director Tom Warner said the city’s drinking water is free of contaminants and received a Superior Water Quality Rating from the TCEQ. 

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