Residents Outside of Pearland City Limits in Future Growth Boundary Submit Petition to Create New Emergency Services District to Pay for Coverage
Brazoria County Commissioners consider petitions from Pearland ETJ Residents
Two petitions have been filed with the Brazoria County Commissioner’s office by residents in Pearland’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) requesting the creation of new emergency services districts (ESD.) The Brazoria County Commissioner’s Court will conduct a public hearing at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, August 14 at the Brazoria County Court in Angleton before considering. The City of Pearland is anticipated to consider consenting to the creation of each new ESDs at its regular City Council Meeting on Monday, August 27.
The City provides Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to all areas within the City limits and historically also provided Fire and EMS to the areas outside the City limits (ETJ). The areas outside the City limits have received these services without paying property taxes to the City. As populations increase both within the City limits and in the ETJ areas outside the City it is important that all residents benefiting from the Services fund a proportionate share of the cost. The Pearland City Council has indicated that they will be unwilling in the future to continue to provide Fire and EMS Services to the areas outside the City at no cost. Currently there are four Municipal Utility Districts (MUD) that pay for fire services or have a strategic partnership agreement for future incorporation to the City of Pearland, which includes MUDs 6, 16, 21 and 22.
“The City of Pearland can continue to provide our high-quality complete fire services into our ETJ, but only if there is commensurate payment for that service, similar to what is applicable in the city limits.” said Clay Pearson, City Manager. “With the current situation, it’s unfair to the City of Pearland residents and businesses from a financial and demand perspective to share the services that are available.”
An emergency services district is a governmental special district under Texas state law similar to a school district, created to provide fire and emergency medical protection to its residents. ESDs are a way to levy and collect a property taxes to pay for fire and EMS services within the district. The nearest existing ESD to Pearland is ESD #3 which levies the maximum 10 cent property tax covering the area. After an ESD is approved by voters in one or both of the new areas, the Brazoria County Commissioners will appoint directors to operate the ESD as a new governmental body. The ESD will then contract for services, which could be from the City of Pearland or other agencies.
The City of Pearland currently operates a full-time Fire department, including emergency medical services, with close to 100 personnel staffed from five stations currently, going to six stations in 2019 and a seventh soon thereafter. City of Pearland Firefighters and Paramedics respond to over 10,000 calls every year. The current annual net cost to operate the Pearland Fire Department is $16 million/year, paid for predominantly by City of Pearland residents and business property taxes and sales tax revenues.
The attached map shows the areas in tan that are proposed for the ESD. For more information visit pearlandtx.gov/ESD-Fire