The county vision requires a comprehensive plan


The question assumes that tens of millions of dollars will be spent by the county on a countywide water supply system, with the result that parts of the county will never be inside the city limits . In other words, there will be a kind of boundary line beyond which the city can never expand, almost a demilitarized zone. I do not want that.

As home building companies develop new additions in Midland County (especially precinct 4) and the city expands into the county, the 3 mile ETJ (extraterritorial jurisdiction) also expands into the county, moving the city limits further out, increasingly encompassing what was once outside the city limits. The city may never swallow the county, but the city will grow.

The problem in West Midland County is compounded by growth in Ector County. While Ector County and their ETJ have moved east, the counties already meet in the western portion of Midland County. With the growth of Midland, both residential and commercial, the once legitimate view of the distinction between Midland County and the City of Midland must be considered outdated and no longer viable.

Midland County should have been working with the City of Midland on water, road and sanitation issues for decades. To the extent that this does not exist, we must begin this planning and this cooperation now. Planning will save valuable taxpayer dollars, not only for the county, but also for the city.

The question also assumes that residents of the City of Midland pay taxes to the county for which they receive no benefit. Residents of the City of Midland benefit in many ways from the taxes they pay to the county; think of the Midland County Clerk, Detention Center, Elections Office, Small Claims Courts, Midland County Sheriff’s Office, etc. As the city expands, it makes sense to allow for this expansion by developing roads, water, and sanitation in conjunction with the county. The future of our community in Midland largely depends on roads, water and sanitation. Requiring everyone outside the city to be responsible for their own systems makes no sense.

The residents of the county are spread over an area much larger than the city of Midland. A county-wide water system is almost too big to even consider, but we need to tackle this problem. What may be reasonable is building a system over several years, in cooperation with the City of Midland and our surrounding counties, a solution that makes future growth possible without duplicating systems. Given the current drought conditions, we also need an up-to-date professional study and understanding of the hydrology of the water table that supplies water to the people of the county to better understand the issues we need to address immediately.

Planning and coordinating with the city and surrounding counties will hopefully benefit our Midland community for another reason. By having a solid and defensible vision for county development, there can be guidelines to avoid haphazard structures and unsightly areas. And, as Midland and Odessa continue to grow closer, we’ll save money because we won’t use an unnecessary piecemeal approach to solving common problems.

I would like to work with the two counties and the two cities to develop an overall plan for the future development of the precinct 4 between Midland and Odessa. By working together, we can pool our resources, which would save taxpayers money.


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