Texas Monthly Article
on Coleman, Texas, by Jordan Breal
"Is This Small West Texas Town Poised to be the Next Marfa?"
published Sep 15, 2015, reposted Jan 12, 2016
January 2016. City, 4A Board, and CEDC review options for drainage at the CDC's Industrial/Airport Area; and, City reviews engineering specifications and costs for repair of the Downtown Business District sidewalk at the future home of the new Downtown Winery.
Over the last several years, you may have noticed City of Coleman personnel demolishing dilapidated structures in your neighborhood. The work being performed is a combined effort between the City of Coleman, Coleman County Commissioners Court, Coleman ISD School Board, Coleman County Medical Center District, Coleman Economic Development Coalition (4-B) and the Coleman County Appraisal District. After a slow start to the program, each entity has gained familiarity with the protocols of the program and progress has become more efficient.
Let’s take this opportunity to look back a mere 5 years ago. The City of Coleman was in the process of developing a program to demolish dilapidated structures within the community. About the time this program was beginning to take place, the City of Dallas, Texas had tore down a residence that was deemed “dilapidated”. After this house was destroyed, the property owner sued the City of Dallas for destroying her “primary residence”. You can imagine what was taking place in the minds of city employees all across the State of Texas that was tearing down “dilapidated structures”, including the City of Coleman. At this point, all eyes were on Dallas, Texas and the Texas Supreme Court.
The Texas Supreme Court had initially made their ruling in the Dallas v Stewart case only to find that the ruling was basically misinterpreted and incorrect. The Texas Supreme Court retracted their first ruling and made a second ruling that is still in effect today. Now, after all city, towns, communities, etc. across the State of Texas had the final ruling, it was time to commence demolition………….nope…………..
After much consideration, the City of Coleman applied for a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Permit by Rule Landfill This was a timely process, but one that was well worth the wait. However, when TCEQ granted the landfill, there was a stipulation in the permit basically stating that any material that was disposed of in this landfill must be owned by the City of Coleman. It was now time to reevaluate how the City would be able to obtain, demolish and clear properties without interfering with local construction companies.
The only way to describe the next process is a term used in music, “organized chaos”. There were meetings and presentations with lawyers, city supervisors, county entities, the appraisal office and 4-B. It may not sound like very many people, but it truly is a large number of people that make this program work and without the cooperation and willingness to take pride in their community, this program would not be possible.
In 2010 a survey was done in the city limits of Coleman. It was found that there were approximately 200 structures in need of demolition. During the period of the Dallas v Stewart Case the City of Coleman relied on voluntary compliance of citizens in possession of dilapidated structures to destroy and remove the nuisance. Approximately 20 structures were voluntarily destroyed at this time.
January 2014 was the turning point for the City of Coleman. Thirteen structures were obtained through resolutions by the County Commissioners Court, Coleman ISD Board of Trustees and the Coleman County Medical Center District Board. These three entities relinquished their 25% ownership of these properties to the City of Coleman, therefore allowing the City of Coleman 100% ownership of these properties which in turn qualifies the material for disposal into the TCEQ Permit by Rule Landfill. Then in September 2014, the City acquired six more properties for demolition and clearing.
Please understand, the City of Coleman is NOT in the real estate business. After these properties are cleared and leveled, the Coleman City Council offers the citizens of Coleman an opportunity to own any of these vacant lots via sealed bids.
The City of Coleman has kicked off 2016 demolition process beginning on 23 structures and the clearing of two vacant lots. All of these properties will be auctioned off by sealed bids during a future Coleman City Council meeting. Continue to watch the newspaper and online for your opportunity to own one of these properties.
We certainly do hope that this gives you a better understanding and perspective of how the City of Coleman is eliminating public nuisances in our community as we all strive to make Coleman a healthier, happier and safer place to live.
Article and Photos Submitted by Code Enforcement Officer, Doug Burks, City of Coleman, January 8, 2016
Mr. Don Harmes, 18 Years with the City of Coleman, Texas. Recipient of the 2015 Employee of the Year Award./posted Dec 17, 2015
2015 City Employee Christmas Luncheon./posted Dec 17, 2015
Coleman City Leaders attended the Texas Midwest Community
Conference in Abilene on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015. Among
those in attendance were
Mayor Nick Poldrack, City Manager Paul Catoe, Chamber
of Commerce Executive Director Mary Griffis and Amy Hinds.
The Texas Midwest Annual Conference is a networking meeting where
communities can work together to accomplish what one community
cannot do alone. A time to see what other communities
accomplish and sharing our community accomplishments.
~Amy Hinds, October 29, 2015
Just wanted to thank KSTA AM 1000 and Mr. Joseph Haynes for a
wonderful job in keeping this community connected over the air
waves. Joe is a true supporter of Coleman and through his
resources and abilities, we stay informed and entertained.
~Anonymous, May 27, 2015
a Coleman Resident buy the lunches of several Military Service
Members at Amber's Steakhouse the other day. Proud to be a
part of a community that supports the Military!
~Anonymous, May 22, 2015
would like to thank City Council members for giving me the
opportunity to discuss the recent grants the library has received at
the May 21st, 2015 City Council meeting. It's very exciting to
partner with the Abilene Library Consortium and receive grants from
the Coleman County Foundation to catalog and preserve some rare
editions of books and digitize the great historical documents,
materials, letters and photographs from our Woodward Texas History
collection. For easy access the collection will be added to the West
Texas Digital Archives soon. The Tocker Foundation grant will
provide digitization of the Coleman's Local History newspaper
microfilm's spanning the years from 1908 to present. The paper's
will be housed on the University of North Texas Portal to Texas
A book content grant from the Libri Foundation will provide $1050.00 of free books for our elementary and middle school age levels and a $1,500.00 Texas Book Festival e-book content to enhance the MackinVia AR collection. Coleman county students are able to have free access to the site throughout the year 24/7. And this month the Friends of the Library received a grant from the Friends of the Coleman County Foundation for 3D technology, and a craft machine for the library's summer reading programs. It is such a pleasure to work for a sportive City Council, City Management and dedicated community volunteers and patrons.
~Sue Dossey, May 22, 2015
A shout out to Cindy Jamison for her phone call
to me concerning one of my kids! My grown son (how did she recognize
him?! He's been out of school for 6 years and now has a lot of
facial hair!) anyway, he was on the side of the road....flat tire,
no jack. He had already called his dad and we were on the way to
help, but sure felt awesome to know she cared enough to give me a
THANK YOU, CINDY JAMISON!!!!
~Barb Hubbard, May 22, 2015