Another Texas Secession Battle -- This Time In Paris

Oct 2, 2013

Some residents of Paris, Texas, have been fighting to secede. They say the Lamar County city owes them water and sewer lines that were promised when their part of town was annexed 14 years ago. But resolution may be at hand in the town about two hours northeast of Dallas, NPR reported earlier this week.

Peggy Worthy Wilson owns 15 acres in Paris.

“Been here my whole life and this is my own place,” Wilson said. “I have a grandson and he has cattle and we plant grass. We have two llamas and we have chickens. … So we still have the country feeling.”

Her patch of countryside is part of the city of Paris. The city annexed the land and 14 years ago promised to deliver city services to the area near the Paris airport.

But that never happened.

Wilson and her neighbors pay fees to the county for their water and they maintain their own sewer systems.

Paris City Manager John Godwin told KXII-TV that there was good reason why water and sewer lines were not extended to the airport.

“It's difficult to justify that kind of expense per mile for that number of residents,” Godwin said.

Over the years, the folks along Airport Road have tried to secede. About two dozen of them filed requests in September to disannex.

“Well, they said we'd get city services,” Wilson said. “They promised water, sewer and all the amenities of the city, you know. And I really don't want the services now.”

Wilson has actually gone so long without city services, she'd rather just keep it that way and divorce from Paris.

But now it appears that the money is finally available to extend city water and sewer lines to the airport. That’s because the city wants to promote development around the airport.

“I'm not interested in that at all,” Wilson said. “You know, if they promote all that it's just going to mean more traffic and higher taxes. And I'm very satisfied with the airport just like it is.”