The incumbent commissioner broke an agreement with the Firethorne developer and cost FBC taxpayers $16MM in legal fees and 4 years of lost tax revenue. In the end, the county settled this lawsuit in 2019 after 5 costly years of litigation, and taxpayers ended up paying $2.2MM for the road in dispute.
The legal dispute arose on who was going to pay for two additional lanes to a road. This dispute was actually settled at mediation in October 2014 where the developer agreed to pay for 1/2 of the expansion and provide additional funds in the form of a check to the county. FBC reneged on the settlement at the end of October at the request of the Commissioner.
With the legal dispute lasting 5 years and holding up sales of additional homes, 4 years of lost tax revenue on 373 homes valued at an average of $350K will never be able to be recouped. FBC taxpayers have lost over $14 million of tax revenues that would have been collected by FBC, LCISD, and FBC MUD #151 combined (FBC MUD #151 alone is $4.8 million).
Under the current settlement, FBC is paying the developer over $2.2 million to build the road, which effectively includes paying much of the developer’s legal fees and releasing him of any obligations for another major thoroughfare along Firethorne’s southern boundary (which the taxpayers will now fund). This reimbursement is all hidden in the form of a negotiated condemnation of road right-of-way. In addition, the county spent approximately $1.8MM to their outside legal counsel for this avoidable lawsuit.
In total, WE the taxpayers are losing BIG on this “Andy” deal…..and he refers to himself as the “Taxpayers‘ Best Friend”?