(The following is a press release from Aransas County Attorney Amada L. Oster’s office.)
The State of Texas, by and through the Aransas County Attorney and the San Patricio County District Attorney, filed quo warranto cases against the City of Aransas Pass alleging deficiencies with the City’s annexation efforts in 2019. The two cases have been consolidated into the State of Texas ex rel. Association Against Annexation Abuse, A-2019-0368-CV-V, in the District Court of Aransas County, Texas, 343rd Judicial District.
On Aug. 16, 2021, a week-long trial was held. However, it became clear matters could not be properly addressed in one week. The Court recessed at the end of a five-day trial and set trial for four more days in September, to begin Sept. 13.
During the intervening weeks, the State of Texas extended another offer of settlement to the City of Aransas Pass with the hope of reducing further expenditures for all involved parties. On Sept. 2, 2021, the City Council of the City of Aransas Pass, Texas, voted to accept the Settlement Offer extended by the State.
Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the City of Aransas Pass and the State have executed an Agreed Judgment and filed it with the Court. The Agreed Judgment sets forth additional terms and conditions. Those terms and conditions include that the City of Aransas Pass will pay the State $750,000 in attorney’s fees and $65,000 in costs, by Dec. 15, 2021, and that the City of Aransas Pass agrees that its annexation ordinances, for Phases I, II, and III, were void upon inception and of no legal effect. The City of Aransas Pass has further agreed the resolution announcing its intent to prepare a service plan and to possibly annex approximately 21,000 acres in the Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (“ETJ”) was also void upon inception and of no legal effect.
The Honorable Donna Rayes has ordered the parties to appear before the Court on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, at 9 a.m. in the Aransas County District Courthouse (2840 SH 35 N., Rockport) to present the settlement to her for her consideration. The hearing will be open to the public, but seating may be limited.
In order to accommodate the public and members of the media who may wish to attend this hearing, the Aransas County Commissioners Court meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 13, will be postponed until 1:30 p.m.