Terry Metreyeon is battling his hometown.
That's because the Nederland City Council wants to annex the land where his store "County Home and Ranch" is located. He said annexation would kill his business by raising his taxes. He said his dozen employees would be out of work.
The Nederland native originally wanted his business within the city limits, but he said the Nederland Economic Development Board said no.
Metreyeon said, "They told me they didn't want this type of facility within the confines of the City of Nederland, that was going to be working on broken mowers, boats and all."
Metreyeon was forced to build outside the city limits at what he considers a less accessible location.
He said the location has hurt his business. And now he says Nederland wants to add insult to injury by seeking annexation which will increase his property taxes.
Since Metreyeon owns about half of the 54 acres, and the other entities on the land do not pay taxes. One is a cemetery, the other is a union hall. Metreyeon believes he is facing retaliation for his vocal criticism of the EDC.
The city council passed the annexation 4-1 on Monday, only Mayor Dick Nugent voted against it, saying it is currently not in the city's best interest.
Nugent said the city will only get $30,000 a year in taxes from Metreyeon's business, but will have to spend $500,000 to extend city services to the annexed area, meaning it would take years to recoup.
Mayor Nugent said, "If we have extra money for something like that, I'd rather use it for the streets and go get this land when it becomes more feasible, and it pays something back to the city."
But luck might be on Metreyeon's side. It turns out surveyors made a mistake, which invalidates the annexation. They neglected to include Highway 69, which connects the area to the city, making it eligible for annexation.
Metreyeon says if the city pursues annexation, he will sue the city.