Waxahachie charges $12,000 to property owner for water
By 09/11/2003 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - If Bob Przybylski wants city water, he's going to have to pay $12,000 for it.
Przybylski has been paying thousands in city property taxes since 1999 for services he said his Interstate Highway 35-fronting property does not receive, but because the land sits in a special utility district, Waxahachie officials cannot legally provide water service there.
'I told them if I can't get water, I don't want in their city,' said Przybylski, who had the property annexed by the City of Waxahachie in 1998. 'I've been paying taxes and haven't been receiving water, so, I want de-annexed.'
City Manager Bob Sokoll said Waxahachie officials are currently working on a plan to lay a water line for Przybylski's property, but it will cost $12,000.
'We don't have to provide water,' Sokoll said, citing state law. 'It's not a developed tract of land and he has had [opportunities] to get water, but it's in the Rockett service area.
'That [service area] is set out by the state.'
Sokoll said water will not be provided unless Przybylski pays for it and it's not known when water would be provided.
'It's not even engineered yet, so we could get it next spring,' Sokoll said.
However, a letter from State Senator Kip Averitt, R-Waco, states cities do have to provide water once a property is annexed; it's a part of what cities call a service agreement, or service plan.
Laws passed in 1999 'were intended to strengthen property owners' rights during the annexation procedure and to ensure that cities properly serve the newly annexed areas,' Averitt's letter stated.
Przybylski said the Waxahachie City Council took Sokoll's advice without 'standing up to him.'
'I think they're [city coun-
cil] hypocrites for praying before the meeting,' he said. 'Because if they were really doing the right thing for the citizens, they would have voted to get me out.'
Last month, city council members offered to provide Przybylski with city water if he agreed to stay in the city limits.
'Why should I pay taxes to help run a water treatment plant if I'm getting Rockett water?' Przybylski asked. 'I pay $51 a month for trash pick-up and I still don't get garbage collected. Where's the fairness in that? This is theft. They're stealing.
'If this is okay, then people should start robbing banks. Why even have police officers? I told them I want out of their city. I don't want their water no more.'
Przybylski said his next course of action would be through the courts, because he also has a mobile home on the property, which he rents out to a family friend.
'I took her up to vote, and the city said she didn't live in the city limits,' Przybylski said, referring to a recent election. 'They had annexed us, but they wouldn't let her vote.
'There's probably a civil rights violation, too.'