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Ovilla settles lawsuit

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The Ellis County Press

OVILLA The city of Ovilla announced Monday, Dec. 28 it finalized an agreement with Triumph Development Corp. to settle all legal matters between the parties.

In 2006 Triumph Development sued the city of Ovilla for failure to meet its contractual obligations under an annexation and services agreement that Ovilla’s mayor and council serving in 2004 had approved.

Triumph intended to annex into the city of Ovilla, to build homes in Ovilla Creek Estates and to receive water and sewer services from the city of Ovilla. However, after the agreement was signed Ovilla discovered that it did not have the legal right to provide water and sewer service in the area as agreed.

As a result of this and subsequent actions by the city, Triumph incurred additional expenses in order to receive those services from the city of Glenn Heights.

A court trial in 2007 resulted in a win for Triumph allowing them to remove Ovilla Creek Estates (de-annex) from the city of Ovilla and awarding them a judgment that, with interest, now totals nearly $80,000.

Ovilla appealed the judgment but the case has yet to be argued before the Appellate Court.

Ovilla Mayor Bill Vansyckle said, "We are pleased to be able to settle this matter and to stop the unnecessary expenses that have strained the already lean Ovilla city budget.

"This city council did not create this problem but is now able to solve it to the benefit of the city.

"We feel confident that retaining Ovilla Creek Estates as part of Ovilla is in the best interest of this city both long and short term."

Vansyckle continued, "In addition to the almost $80,000 judgment, Ovilla’s legal expenses in this matter are over $110,000 and this settlement stops those costs.

"I’m sure the citizens would prefer that we spend that money on roads rather than on attorney’s fees.

"This settlement keeps a premier, showcase development at one of Ovilla’s major gateways.

"But most important is that we will keep the tax revenue that Ovilla Creek Estates produces and now will continue to produce in the future.

"It is expected that at full build-out, annual tax revenue from Ovilla Creek Estates will exceed $150,000 per year."

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