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City limits lines to be reviewed

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Whether the boundaries of the City of Bandera are correct as currently depicted or whether they should be moved to coincide with actual boundary lines will be determined by a survey the Bandera City Council has agreed to assign to Bo Mansfield of Mansfield Surveying for $6,000.

Council authorized the city administrator to sign a contract with Mansfield for the surveying work at its Jan. 2 meeting after no other surveying firm submitted a bid.

Council members decided that while there had been no angry disputes over city limit boundaries so far, they wanted to confirm where the lines should be so there are no questions in the future, particularly as it concerns regulations that could be imposed in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction That area, which is often referred to as the city’s ETJ, extends a half mile from the city limit boundaries.

“It’s something that had to be done,” said Councilwoman Lynn Palmer. “We haven’t been clear on where our boundaries are, so we’re going to resolve that.”

Mayor Suzanne Schauman agreed that with annexations and de-annexations in the past, exactly where the city limits are has been muddled in some areas of town.

She too thinks it has been too long since a survey established the city’s true boundaries, so the new survey will come in handy, particularly as the city decides what regulations to impose in the extraterritorial jurisdiction.

City Administrator J. Horry said questions about the city limits arise more with residents outside the city limits who are not certain if they are within the ETJ than with residents inside the city limits.

The boundary question could become more important as council moves forward on a possible conversion of the Bandera Economic Development Corp. to a different structure called a Municipal Development District.

Rules governing development districts allow them to enact programs within the extraterritorial jurisdiction when the EDC could not. Council appears to be a long way from making a decision on whether to make the switch to a development district.

The city has been working with a boundary map developed by the Bandera County Central Appraisal District, but the new survey will have the data needed to determine if those boundaries are correct, Horry said.

As of last week, he had not finalized the contract with Mansfield, but the administrator expected it to be completed within days. Once the surveying starts, it should be completed in a relatively short period of time, Horry said.

“This survey will be done to make sure it’s all correct, so there will be no questions,” the administrator said.

Horry would like to see the boundary check done every few years for accuracy’s sake.