Marble Falls initiates annexation, honors library

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

At the Sept. 19 meeting of the Marble Falls City Council, Mayor John Packer, right, issues a proclamation in honor of the Oct. 2-6 celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Marble Falls Public Library at its 101 Main Street location. Recognized, from left, are Joe Wizansky and Bill Gaylord of Friends of the Marble Falls Library and Amanda Rose, library director.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

The possibility of a new Asphalt, Inc. rock crushing plant on the far southern outskirts of the city brought the largest contingent of visitors to the Marble Falls City Council on Tuesday night, Sept. 19.

In a meeting that opened with proclamations recognizing the 20th Anniversary of the Marble Falls Library's Main Street location and hunger awareness, the agenda included a proposed ordinance establishing the intent of the City of Marble Falls to annex into the city limits 1,242 acres of land that would place the proposed plant in the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of the city.

“Annexation is not a silver bullet,” said Mayor John Packer. “But it could give us some standing.”

The plant opponents seemed gratified, nonetheless, to witness a unanimous council vote in support of the ordinance.

City Attorney Patti Akers reminded the crowd that city council action was only the beginning of a process. Landowners will have to receive official notice of the city's intent and hearings will have to be conducted on Oct. 24 and Oct. 30, before the council could act on annexation Nov. 21.

The City of Marble Falls now encompasses about 9,123 acres. It is a Home Rule City in a county under a 500,000 population, a Tier 1 municipality excluded from the new Senate Bill 6 requirements for a vote of residents for annexation.

Development Services Director Valerie Kreger told the council it could annex an area up to 10 percent the size of the existing city, but it also is allowed to carry over acreage from previous years up to 30 percent. Available this year is 2,638 or about 29 percent.”

“That leave about 15.4 percent or 1,396 acres that could be annexed this year or carried over,” she said.

Several members of the audience addressed the council, including Dr. Bramer Owens, CEO of Baylor Scott & White Hill Country Region, landowners Grant Dean and Paul and Barbara King and Doug Moss of Harvard Investments, representing the Gregg Ranch Development.

“I strongly urge the council to use any influence you have to oppose this plant,” said King. “My wife and I have 52 acres of land (near the proposed plant). It would put a chilling effect on builders who might come there.”

Moss cited noise, dust and heavy truck traffic as detracting effects on property abutting US 281 and Texas 71.

“Harvard Investments is charged with recruiting home builders for Gregg Ranch...where roughly 700 homes are to be built,” said Moss. “Something like this would definitely have a negative effect on our builders.”

“I am a resident of The Overlook on the backside of this quarry site,” said Dean. “We need to do everything we can to stop this and letters to Senator Dawn Buckingham and Governor Greg Abbott will help.”

Dr. Owen said BS&W wanted the best result in the mutual interest of everyone involved, but added to the concerns of developers.

“It is really important for us to have affordable rooftops for staff and clients,” he said.

The council stood behind the Marble Falls Planning & Zoning Commission in denying the application of 88 Signs for a variance for an electronic message sign to exceed the current maximum height and color standards for signage on a current billboard space at 5526 US 281 North.

As visitors passed a massive digital sign with colorful messages about the city and its events rolling by at a rate of one message every 10 seconds. It had been hauled on a trailer onto the city hall parking lot by Lynn Williams of 88 Signs.

“We are proposing a $200,000 sign and giving the city a quarter of the (messages),” he said, as he extolled the value of an electronic sign over a static sign with messages physically replaced.

Also among actions by the council was approval of a replat of Lots 11 through 15 in Block 219 of Marble Falls Original Township to create three Habitat for Humanity sites.

Marble Falls Public Library 20th Anniversary
WHEREAS, the Marble Falls Public Library was first established in 1948 by Lois Anderson with a single bookcase of 45 books; and
WHEREAS, in 1975 after a three year building campaign by the Friends of the Library, the Marble Falls Public Library broke ground on their 801 4th Street library building; and
WHEREAS, on October 4, 1997, the expanding need for services and vision for a first class library system brought about the grand opening ofthe 15,000 square foot facility on Main St.; and
     WHEREAS, through the tireless efforts of dedicated librarians, generous donors, visionaries and volunteers, the Marble Falls Library has proudly served the community for over 69 years; and
WHEREAS, the Library has long served as a trusted and treasured institution, enriching lives and fueling efforts to better our community; and
WHEREAS, the Library continues to serve as an unlimited source of information, an access point for technologies and a gathering place for people from all backgrounds and of all ages who endeavor to promote literacy, exploration, learning and fellowship; and
WHEREAS, the Library’s mission is further supported by the coordinated efforts of the City of Marble Falls, County of Burnet, and Friends of the Library; and
WHEREAS, the 20th Anniversary of the Marble Falls Library on Main Street will serve as a celebration of the achievements of the past and an inspiration for all that is possible in the future;
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that I, John Packer, Mayor of the City of Marble Falls,recognize the Marble Falls Public Library for their invaluable contribution to the citizens of Marble Falls and the surrounding communities. I encourage all residents to visit the library and in doing so, honor the importance of the dedicated library professionals,
staff, supporters and volunteers; and their commitment to public service, education and lifelong learning.
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