by Victor Lopez
ODESSA--Odessa residents are being asked for their opinion on a possible expansion of their city. City Council members are considering annexing some land north east of town. That land ties in with other development going on in the same area.
The amount of land itself is quite a bit, 1,700 acres worth, along Faudree Road and Yukon. Even though there won't be any construction activity for a while, city officials say this type of development is a smart move for Odessa.
"This is just, strictly, annexing the land and looking toward the future for the city," Public Information Officer, Andrea Goodson, said.
It will be several months before any heavy equipment makes it's way to this stretch of land. Once the Odessa City Council has gotten their green light, the annexation ball is in the State of Texas' court.
"There will be two hearings and readings for the annexation. If both of those pass, then it's sent on to the Department of Justice. Once it's approved by them, then it becomes part of the City of Odessa," Goodson explained.
With 1,700 acres of land to develop, the end result could be an 8,000 resident increase in the city population and some big bucks to stimulate the local economy.
According to Goodson, "This is just the first step in growing our city and growing our tax base."
With major projects already going on to the south of this area, city officials can't say for sure what it is that's drawing attention to this part of town. But they can say where they think it will take them.
"It seems that Midland and Odessa are growing closer together. We're becoming more metropolis. I think it's just natural for the two to get closer and closer and that's just growth towards Midland," Goodson commented.
If everything goes as expected, development could start by Spring of 2011. But everything needs a starting point and when the future of the city is concerned, Goodson says, this is a very good place to start, "Even if everything is granted and everything is good to go come Spring of 2011, I don't anticipate any development happening at this time. It will be in the future."
The first of two public hearings will be Tuesday night at 6p.m. and the second meeting will be on November 23rd. Both meetings will be held in the Odessa City Council chambers.