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Red Oak sues Ferris over annexation

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ERIC CORNELISON
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WAXAHACHIE - The City of Ferris is being sued by the City of Red Oak over the annexation of 260.62 acres of land annexed by the Ferris City Council in February.

The suit was filed in the 40th District Court on March 9 and pertains to the land located north of Ovilla Road and Steinbach Road claiming the City of Ferris was infringing on the extra-territorial jurisdiction of the City of Red Oak.

Red Oak had sent an attorney representing their interests and explaining the position Red Oak was taking but once the representative had made his presentation and left the council meeting in February, the Ferris city council voted to annex this property.

Red Oak City Manager Ken Pfiefer said, 'Our presentation to the Ferris city council fell on deaf ears.'

The land in question has reportedly been part of Red Oak's ETJ for some time and the city has made attempts to compromise with the Ferris city council.

The attorneys for Red Oak had originally wanted to sit down with representatives from Ferris before the annexation of the property and made requests to this fact.

'We will make claim to what is rightfully ours,' said Pfiefer. 'We are intent on what is ours.'

In the lawsuit, Red Oak makes the claim it has an interest in this controversy and legal relations which are affected by the ordinance as it pertains to annexation.

'If allowed to stand (meaning the annexation by Ferris), this encroachment would be a peculiar harm suffered by Red Oak,' the lawsuit states.

Not all the property in question was located in Red Oak's ETJ but Red Oak was seeking a declaratory judgment which would limit the annexation by Ferris to areas outside Red Oak's claimed ETJ.

Ferris City Manager Gus Pappas said, 'We think it is affected by an earlier pending lawsuit that will cause them (Red Oak) to have to withdraw their ETJ and start over again.'

Red Oak was also requesting the court declare the annexation ordinance void and illegal along with attorney's fees.

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