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Corpus Christi, San Patricio Co. gearing up for annexation fight

Posted at 9:08 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 23:37:55-04

The city of Corpus Christi wants to annex more land from San Patricio County.

Last week the city council passed a resolution starting the annexation process for 1,500 acres in the La Quinta Corridor.  Under this latest proposal, the city would annex another 5,700 acres of land between Gregory and Ingleside.  The land in this second proposal is largely commercial, and includes property owned by corporations like Cheniere Energy and Occidental Chemical.

San Patricio County Judge David Krebs is frustrated, and calls Corpus Christi’s annexation plans a land grab fueled by greed.  He’s also frustrated, because there’s nothing he can do.

“They have every legal right by state law to come in and do this,” said Krebs.

While Corpus Christi may have the right to annex the land, Krebs doesn’t think the city is going about annexation the right way.  However, Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb says now is the right time to annex.

“You have to look at it now because if this legislation passes, then it’s over,” said McComb.  “We’ve simply started the process, we haven’t annexed anything.”

That legislation is H.B. 2589, introduced by San Patricio County’s representative J.M. Lozano.  If passed, a city with a population of more than 300,000, like Corpus Christi, would not be allowed to annex an area located in a county with a population of more than 50,000 and less than 300,000 without the consent of that county.  That bill would supersede any extraterritorial jurisdiction.

“We’re doing what every other city in the state is doing that’s facing this same deadline,” said McComb.  “They’re looking at what they can annex before the law changes.”

Before his election as County Judge, Krebs served as the Mayor of Portland.  He says if he were in McComb’s position, he’d likely do the same thing.

“I understand, I was a city mayor for a long time, and we love annexing,” said Krebs.  “If something like this comes up, we try to jump on it ahead of time.”

But as judge, Krebs has a wider constituency.  He’s worried about what annexation means for the county now and in the future.

“It’s going to affect the county, we just hope it doesn’t affect any future businesses that are looking at this county,” said Krebs.

Krebs says the best he can do is make sure the city follows the annexation process to the letter of the law.  Krebs also plans to have a large contingent at Tuesday’s Corpus Christi City Council meeting to have their voices heard.