by VERONICA GORDON
Buda City Council recently approved a memorandum of understanding between the city and Texas Lehigh Cement, Inc. for the voluntary annexation of a portion of the company’s property east of the railroad.
The annexation is part of the city’s growth plan, said Assistant City Manager Brian LaBorde.
The city began the process of involuntarily annexing portions of the company’s land last fall.
At the time, Lehigh company president Robert Kidnew said he was going to hold the city responsible for providing services such as sewer and water.
“With this voluntary annexation, both sides are getting what they set out for,” LaBorde said.
LaBorde said the city is under no obligation to provide water to the cement company because it is already served by Monarch Water Supply Corporation.
The memorandum of understanding includes a provision for the city of Austin to release portions of the property in its extraterritorial jurisdiction.
The voluntary annexation allows the city and Lehigh to develop mutually agreeable terms for a special use permit for the continuation of the company’s quarrying and resource extraction.
“This MOU expedites the process,” said council member Todd Ruge. “And it helps keep a good relationship between the city and Texas Lehigh.”
Mining just beyond the Buda city limits since 1978, Texas Lehigh produces nearly 1.4 million tons of cement for construction, oil wells and masonry every year and is valued at about $60 million. The company is appraised as the single most valuable property on the area’s tax rolls.