Henderson County balks at neighboring county’s surrender of land

Henderson County balks at neighboring county’s surrender of land
Henderson County is disputing a resolution to have 700 acres forfeited by Kaufman County. (Source: Henderson County)

ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - Henderson County commissioners have made the decision to retain outside counsel after Kaufman County commissioners issued a resolution which changes the county boundary.

The move would surrender around 700 acres to Henderson County, but Henderson County is not accepting of the resolution.

Henderson County Attorney Clint Davis said a Henderson County road which runs through Kaufman County is the point of contention.

“A commissioner there cannot spend money on a portion of a road that’s in Henderson County,” Davis said.

Davis said the issue has been debated since the 1890s. Davis said there is a “notch” on the Kaufman County map and Kaufman County commissioners want to eliminate that notch and have a straight-line boundary.

Davis said Kaufman County commissioners’ decision to draft a resolution was not appropriate.

Davis said Kaufman County’s own county attorney’s opinion that the issue should be addressed by the use of joint land surveyors is appropriate.

“But any money we spend to determine whose land it is will exceed what it costs to maintain that road for the next 200 years,” Davis said.

Between 200 and 300 residents live on the disputed land.

Davis said a survey today could change more than just a notch in the map and could possibly move the line up to three miles north and it could also affect land in Van Zandt County.

“A survey in the 1800s will look a lot different than what’s done in 2021,” Davis said. “If you look at a survey from then, it marks boundary lines as trees.”

Davis said outside counsel was retained in case the process moves forward to litigation in district court. Commissioners made the decision in a meeting on Tuesday.

Henderson County will continue to recognize the boundary as it exists, Davis said.

“We will wait to see what, if any, action Kaufman County takes,” Davis said.

Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.