McAllen Moves to Annex Land Before December
MCALLEN – The city of McAllen is looking to expand its city limits before Dec. 1, when a new state law goes into effect. The law limits cities’ ability to annex land.
“We'll be finished with the annexation process at the end of November,” City Manager Roy Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said the goal is to adopt more than 1,600 acres of county land adjacent to the city.
“We can't annex unless people petition us to annex them. And if we do attempt to annex them without a petition, which is called in voluntary, we've got to have an election,” he said.
Business owners in the land to be annexed have mixed feelings.
“I don't mind paying higher taxes and stuff like that because there's going to be more security if the city is here,” Hector Ramos said.
Ramos is all for annexation. He's part owner of RGV Trucks and Trailers on Old Tenth Street. Just down the road is Sophie's Saloon.
Sophie’s owner, Timothy Wilkins, said he considers himself the guardian of the iconic bar.
“I consider myself to be a part of Sophie’s history and I’m just trying to make sure I can see her through several more decades of use and enjoyment,” he said.
Wilkins said the bar has been around for the better part of 70 years. It's been through five owners since the venue's namesake passed away years ago.
The indoor-outdoor entertainment facility has remained much the same over the years. It's a place for skeet shooting, fireworks shows, concerts, community events and benefits, and more.
“I really don't think that Sophie’s could adapt to fit the mold of what the city would want it to be. It's too unique,” Wilkins said.
“We will go to court if we need to,” attorney for the saloon, Michael Pruneda said.
Rodriguez added the city is willing to work out an agreement that better suits Sophie’s, but the annexation will move forward.
“The people who should be upset are our citizens, because our citizens are paying for services for other people outside the city who are getting the same services,” said Rodriguez.
More than 2,000 people have signed a petition urging the city not to annex Sophie’s Saloon. The bar and city will meet Friday in an attempt to reach an agreement.
The city also plans to annex another tract of land on the north side of McAllen.
The 128 acre area is east of Ware Road, north of Mile 6, and south of Sprague Road.
The city has already approved the service plan for both areas. The details of how the annexed areas will have access to each city service will be given soon.
The annexation service plans that have been proposed can be found below.