Paris resident speaks on de-annexing as the city plans new development

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PARIS, TX -- Owners of 25 properties around the airport asked the Paris city council to disannex from the city, but the city said that was not an option.

Property owners on FM 1508/Airport Road were annexed into the city 14-years ago and were promised Fire, Police and EMS services, as well as water, sewer and street lights.

"We do not have water or sewer," said Airport Road resident Deborah Hudgens. "We don't have TV-cable, of course that's not a necessity, but water and sewer is supposed to be provided for the city."

Hudgens says she's paid over $11,000 in taxes over the 14-years and has yet to receive water or sewer lines.

"To be honest, I'm content like I am," said Hudgens. "The services are not that important other than they were promised and the fact that we pay taxes like every other citizen, but don't receive the utilities."

But city officials say money is now available from the $45-million bond passed in May to extend water and sewer lines into Southeast Paris.

Hudgens was in awe upon hearing that city created a plan to bring water and sewer to Southeast Paris.

"Stunned. Shocked," said Hudgens. "Because for 14-years we heard nothing of a plan, nothing."

City Manager, John Godwin, says past city officials most likely couldn't justify extending the lines due to the lack of population density.

"It's difficult to justify that kind of expense per mile for that number of residents and in the past, previous city councils have opted for whatever reason to not to invest that kind of money into the airport," said Godwin.

Hudgens called today to cancel her city trash pick-up service, but was told she could not cancel.

"To me it was kind of ironic that they were able to add the service for us and have billed us monthly, but they can't just cancel it," said Hudgens.

The city says they not only want to provide water and sewer to the area, but want to develop around the airport.

"The area around the airport we feel is just one of those hidden jewels in Paris and we want to see some development and bring some businesses out there," said District 2 councilwoman Sue Lancaster.

Godwin says supplying the infrastructure will help bring businesses to the area.

"We negate that advantage when we don't have utilities available, because most businesses are not going to be interested in a place that doesn't have water or sewer," said Godwin.

City officials say construction could start by next summer.

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