Isolated Dallas Neighborhood Seeks Border Adjustment

Neighbors say border confusion causes public safety delays

Border confusion that causes public safety concerns in an isolated section of Dallas will not be settled soon.

A park in the area on the other side of Mountain Creek Lake from the rest of Dallas will soon become a part of Grand Prairie instead.

But the city limits will not change for around 250 Dallas homes beside the park in the Bella Lagos neighborhood along the lake, which can only be reached by driving through Grand Prairie.

Homeowner Fred Allen said most of the Bella Lagos property owners have supported becoming part of Grand Prairie on a petition and in meetings with their Dallas City Council Member, Casey Thomas.

"This is too critical of a situation that we're in out here, not to keep this thing on the front burner. We've got to do something," Allen said. "We want response time from EMS and police that are comparable to other parts of the city."

Grand Prairie resident Jenny Morgan said the border confusion caused a slow response to the 2016 murder of her 21-year-old son JePatrick Morgan-Wright in Mountain Creek Lake Park adjacent to Bella Lagos.

She said her son was shot beside the street at the park which is owned and operated by the City of Grand Prairie but technically sits inside the city limits of Dallas.

Morgan said the original 911 caller was bounced back and forth between the two cities for emergency response.

"It was a discrepancy over whether it should have been Dallas or Grand Prairie," she said.

City of Grand Prairie spokesperson Amy Spinkles said the park is surrounded by Grand Prairie homes and frequently used by Grand Prairie residents.

"If you call 911 from there it goes to Dallas PD. That's a problem for that park," Sprinkles said.

The Dallas City Council in June approved a border adjustment to put the park site in Grand Prairie.

"The park land doesn't pay taxes so that may have been an easier decision for Dallas to make," Sprinkles said.

The Grand Prairie City Council is scheduled to accept the border adjustment in September which would make Grand Prairie police officially responsible for the park.

In February, Dallas City Council Member Casey Thomas said changing the border for the Bella Lagos homes would be practical.

"Once I hear from residents, if a majority of them say yes, I'll be willing to advocate," Thomas said in an interview with NBC 5 in February.

Thomas did not return messages Friday.

"The only thing we're getting are excuses and false promises," Allen said.

Grand Prairie already provides some emergency response to the Bella Lagos homes through a mutual aid agreement with Dallas.

With a lower tax rate than Dallas, Sprinkles said Grand Prairie is willing to provide city services for Bellas Lagos homes but many details would need to be worked out.

"We are certainly open to those discussions, but it has to start with the city of Dallas," she said.

The murder victim's mother said the border confusion should be settled for public safety.

"Something as serious as that, it's a problem and it needs to be addressed," Jenny Morgan said.

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