Sherman recently took the first step in its plan to annex more than 450 acres near the intersection of Highway 289 and Highway 82 at the request of homeowners in the area.

The Sherman City Council held the first of two required public hearings on the annexation ordinance Monday and no one from the public came forward to speak. If ultimately approved, the ordinance will add 459.6 acres of land on Preston Club Drive to the city.

“This is just in accordance with the annexation plan we had presented to you at previous meetings, and it’s just an opportunity for anybody in the public to speak to it, if they’d like,” City Manager Robby Hefton said to the council.

In a document provided to the council, city staff noted 259 property owners out of the 331 individual tracts of land in the area signed the petition requesting annexation. City staff previously said the annexation request was spurred by homeowners’ need for assistance with their water and sewer system.

When the annexation schedule was presented to the council last month, it also approved an engineering contract with Freeman-Millican Inc. for the design of sewer main revisions, lift station construction and force main construction to serve the Preston Club area and the northwest portion of the city.

“What this services agreement relates to is engineering services for a sewer main that will serve the intersections of Highway 82 and 289,” Hefton said last month. “As a result of the petition that we received from the Preston Club folks for annexation, we began looking at ways to serve them. It became clear that if we were to maybe supersize this to more than what would be required to serve them, it would really open up that entire corridor for development.”

In a document prepared for the city council, city staff explained to provide proper sewer service to the Preston Club area, improvements such as gravity sewer mains, a lift station and force main will need to be constructed to transport the area’s wastewater to Sherman’s collection system. While the engineering services are going to cost the city $194,000, Hefton estimated the whole project will be in the range of around $2 million.

City staff said the planned improvements will eliminate Preston Club’s need for an on-site wastewater plant and will provide wastewater services to the subdivision and the surrounding areas.

Under the annexation schedule, the council will hold the second public hearings on the city’s intent to annex and the provision of service during its May 1 meeting. Hefton said the annexation ordinance will then be considered for adoption by the council during a specially called meeting on May 22.

If approved, the annexation will be the first major expansion by the city in over a year. Over three months in late 2015 and early 2016, Sherman expanded by about 470 acres. In December 2015, Sherman brought 186.244 acres of land — including Lamberth Road Estates, Carriage House Estates, Shady Oaks Subdivision and various unplatted tracts on Montclaire Drive — into the city limits. Then in March of last year, Sherman annexed approximately 274 acres along Friendship Road and Highway 56.