Voters turn down Travis County ESD 17 annexation of Pflugerville area

Early-voting numbers show residents are largely opposed to a measure to annex Pflugerville and its extraterritorial jurisdiction into ESD 17. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Early-voting numbers show residents are largely opposed to a measure to annex Pflugerville and its extraterritorial jurisdiction into ESD 17. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Early-voting numbers show residents are largely opposed to a measure to annex Pflugerville and its extraterritorial jurisdiction into ESD 17. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Update at 11:04 p.m.

Travis County unofficial vote totals show residents of Pflugerville and its extraterritorial jurisdiction have voted against ballot initiatives from ESD 17 to annex both areas and call for residents to assume its proportionate share of outstanding debts and taxes.

For Proposition A within Pflugerville, 3,769 voted against the measure to 2,362 for, and 3,930 voted against Proposition B to 2,171 voting for it in the unofficial total.

For Proposition A within the ETJ, 1,183 voted against the measure with 711 voting for, and for Proposition B, 1,239 voted against the measure with 646 voting for it in the unofficial total.

All results are unofficial until canvassed.


Visit our online Voter Guide for all local election results in your community.

Original story

Early-voting numbers show Pflugerville residents are largely against ballot initiatives to annex the area into the coverage area of newly created Travis County Emergency Services District No. 17.

There are four ballot measures in the Nov. 2 election that apply to Pflugerville and its extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Proposition A in Pflugerville is a measure to annex the city limits into its jurisdiction, and Proposition B in Pflugerville is a measure calling for residents to assume its proportionate share of outstanding debts and taxes of ESD 17.

Propositions A and B for Pflugerville's ETJ are the same.

For Proposition A within Pflugerville, 2,319 voted against the measure to 1,298 for, and 2,417 voted against Proposition B to 1,182 voting for it in early voting.

For Proposition A within the ETJ, 473 voted against the measure with 256 voting for, and for Proposition B, 480 voted against the measure with 243 voting for it in early voting.

The annexation election is a divisive issue, as city officials have worked toward a contract with a private emergency services provider, while representatives from the district said the move is necessary to provide timely coverage to area residents without aggressive bill collection tactics.

Most recently, Pflugerville City Council delayed a vote to contract with Acadian Ambulance Services LLC.

The postponement came during an Oct. 30 special meeting after discussion of the partnership during previous regular council meetings that saw members of the community and Travis County ESD 2, more commonly referred to as the Pflugerville Fire Department, pan council's actions.

Several Pflugerville residents spoke against the city contracting with Acadian and urged city officials to wait until after the election to pursue the matter.

During public comment, Pflugerville City Council candidate Kimberly Holiday asked officials why they are rushing the process.

"I stand before you to ask that we only delay this decision until the voices of the people of Pflugerville have been heard on Nov. 2," Holiday said.

Should voters approve the annexation, it remains unclear whether the city will still pursue a contract with Acadian, but Pflugerville Council Member David Rogers on Nov. 2 said the option is still very much in play.

"What the voters do today ... is going to have an effect on what the council is going to do," Rogers said. "We're waiting to see what they do, and our next step will be responsive to that. The city has a whole lot of options, and we will see which ones they exercise."

There is no charge to the taxpayers if the city contracts with Acadian, Rogers said, adding that is why Acadian is the frontrunner option should officials decide to contract with a private company.

"The ESD is not free. When you ride on an ambulance the ESD provides, they send a bill," Rogers said and added roughly 70%-80% of patients who have to use an ambulance pay the bill through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. "Acadian looked at those numbers and said they could make a contract with Pflugerville work."

Adding to the complexity of the situation, Pflugerville City Council recently passed a franchise requirement to provide emergency medical services within city limits.

Rogers said if the annexation election passes, ESD 17 would have to negotiate a franchise agreement to operate within the city, but he also acknowledged legal disputes on which entity has ultimate overriding authority in the situation could entangle the city and the district in coming months.

"I think we'll have a lot better handle on this tomorrow based on what happens tonight," Rogers said.

All results are unofficial until canvassed.

Visit our online Voter Guide for all local election results in your community.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018. From there he became a dual-market editor for Community Impact's New Braunfels and San Marcos-Buda-Kyle editions. Brian is now a senior editor for the company's flagship papers, the Round Rock and Pflugerville-Hutto editions.


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