Pearland City Council approved an extension of fire protection and EMS to the areas within Brazoria County emergency services districts Nos. 4 and 5 until April 15.
“We believe that’s enough time to do what they need to do,” City Manager Clay Pearson told the council.
The new ESDs, authorized by elections on Nov. 6, were officially created by Brazoria County on Nov. 27 with the appointment of boards for each. The boards will set a tax rate, hire attorneys and negotiate contracts with the city of Pearland to secure fire and EMS beyond the April 15 deadline.
The districts represent portions of Pearland’s extraterritorial jurisdiction that had been annexed last year, then were de-annexed under pressure from residents and Brazoria County officials. After the de-annexation, Pearland City Council passed a resolution saying the city would terminate fire protection and EMS coverage to the ETJ as of Dec. 31 unless another arrangement could be made to pay for service.
Council Member Adrian Hernandez asked if there were an opportunity to revisit whether the city could ask municipal utility districts in the ETJ to pay for service instead.
“I think that horse is out of the barn,” Pearson said.
The council also voted to discontinue service to the ETJ in Harris County, which includes an industrial park at FM 521 and Beltway 8, and Tom Bass Regional Park. City officials said Harris County had already been notified but has not received a reply. After Jan. 1, emergency calls in those locations will be routed to Harris County, officials said.