City Council Approves Annexation & Potential SPC Downtown Center
South Plains College President Dr. Robin Satterwhite praised the decision. “This potential would allow South Plains College to better meet the needs of students within the City of Lubbock and create a more accessible pathway for students seeking an associate degree from SPC or baccalaureate degree from our transfer universities,” Satterwhite said. “Higher education students face a number of barriers to completing their degree, and our goal is to reduce those barriers through strategic partnerships with the local community.”
SPC is reportedly eyeing the current City Hall building to be the location of the potential downtown education center. The City is currently renovating the downtown Omni Building to be the new City Hall, set to be completed by August of 2019.
Also at yesterday’s meeting, the City Council held the first reading of a city annexation ordinance that would bring at least three areas of land into Lubbock city limits. Over the past weeks and months, council members have held public meetings on the potential annexation and given community members the opportunity to share their concerns.
As expected, many living outside city limits oppose their property being brought into the city for various reasons. Much opposition seemed to stem from concerns of unnecessary city regulation, potential property tax increases, and the uncertain future of owning livestock. But City Manager Jarrett Atkinson has a different perspective on annexation. According to KAMC News, Atkinson said, “The growth is going to happen anyway, but the ability to have any kind of management of what happens doesn't exist unless you are in the city."
The first reading of the annexation ordinance yesterday yielded a few changes from the initial annexation proposal. For instance, it is normally illegal to sell fireworks within city limits, but the proposal would extend fireworks sales within the annexed areas until January 31, 2019.
The city council voted Thursday 5-2 to move forward with the annexation proceedings, with the second reading to be held at next week’s city council meeting. Both Shelia Patterson Harris of District 2 and Karen Gibson of District 5 voted down the annexation proposal.
At the meeting Harris explained her opposition to the proposal in a few short words, saying, “I think we have to do well with what we have before we begin to do additional things.”