Residents rally against proposed Rosenberg annexation


More than 100 residents met last week to hear specifics about the annexation plan. They're expecting at least that number again Tuesday night as folks sign up to speak before City Council.

When Heber Castillo bought his property years ago, he says he did so not just because it was a steal, but because it was not inside the city limits. So when he heard the city wants to annex his neighborhood, he became livid.

"I slammed the notice on the coffee table," Castillo said.

He worries about additional taxes, fees and regulations he and his neighbors now could face.

"As it stands now, the offer that's on the table, the only thing I'm getting is a kick in the mouth," Castillo said.

The city of Rosenberg says its necessary to annex six areas -- just over 1,000 acres -- currently outside its boundaries. The city manager says fire crews have been servicing those areas for years with only city taxpayers footing the bill.

"We've had to look at what's best for the taxpayers of the city of Rosenberg and make sure that everybody is paying their fair share," Rosenberg City Manager Jack Hamlett said.

The additional tracts would add $34 million in taxable value to city tax rolls, generating about $171,000 annually. For a $100,000 home, the additional taxes would be about $500 a year. City leaders say that would primarily be used to build an additional fire station and expand firefighting capacity.

Homeowners opposed to annexation say they've been told by elected leaders that such a move would require them to pay thousands of dollars in fees to hook up to new water and sewer lines.

"I don't know how many citizens, that even are in better situations than I am economically at this time, can afford to come up with $10,000 to $12,000," Castillo said.

City leaders say that's not true. Homeowners would have the option to hook up to the city water and sewer.

The public hearing begins at 7pm. For more on the plans, see the city's breakdown of the plan. The city council is expected to vote on annexation in November.

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