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Ferris sues Wilmer over annexation

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The Ellis County Press

FERRIS- The city of Ferris has filed suit against the city of Wilmer in the 101st District Court of Dallas County on Monday, July 26.

According to Ferris, a number of annexation ordinances adopted by the City of Wilmer, going back to 1982, are void and to issue an injunction prohibiting Wilmer from exercising jurisdiction over the territory purportedly subject to those ordinances.

Documents refereeing to Ferris’ original petition read, annexation ordinances adopted by Wilmer in November 1982 and June 1986 inadequately described the territory to be annexed and are therefore void. The petition also alleges those ordinances violate other provisions of state law and are void for those reasons as well.

"It is our position that Wilmer’s 1982 and 1986 annexation ordinances that we have challenged are void and Wilmer’s continued attempts to annex territory, including territory in Ferris’s city limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction, based on those ordinances must be stopped in order to protect Ferris’s rightful jurisdiction over that territory," said City Manager Eric Strong.

Wilmer’s Mayor Jeff Steele has been out of town and was unaware of any suit filed but did say, "The city of Wilmer objected to Ferris annexation of territory in the territory of Wilmer’s ETJ [extra territorial jurisdiction] about two years ago."

According to the petition, Wilmer has adopted a number of annexation ordinances since November 1982. Ferris is challenging because (1) those ordinances rely on the November 1982 and June 1986 ordinances, which are void; (2) they include territory that is within the jurisdiction authority of Ferris; (3) they attempt to annex territory that was not contiguous with the remainder of Wilmer; and/or (4) Wilmer did not have the required consent of the owners of the property within the territory to be annexed.

Wilmer’s City Secretary Alice Holloway said the suit has been turned over to their attorney and couldn’t comment about the proceedings until he replies back with an okay to do so.

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