Time stressed on annexation

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Brookhaven aldermen continue to look at annexation and possiblerepercussions for inactivity on the issue.

Aldermen want to have another meeting with the city’s annexationconsultant to discuss pending city plans. They are interested incosts involved and defining a boundary for city expansion.

City Attorney Joe Fernald said time is of the essence regardingannexation and redistricting. He said the city will have toredistrict, either for seven aldermen after annexation or, if thereis no annexation action, for five aldermen because the city’spopulation is now under 10,000 people.

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“We’re going to have to make a decision on that sooner orlater…,” Fernald said. “We’ve just got a lot of issues we’ve gotto settle.”

Alderman at large Les Bumgarner last night followed up on hissuggestion for an alternate annexation area. His plan would take in1,999 people, of which 56 percent would be white and 42 percentwould be black. The plan includes 894 housing units.

However, Ward 2 Alderman Terry Bates said other factors must beconsidered. Mentioning that the city’s airport is too small, hesaid land for a new one plus new industrial land needs to be in thecity.

“We’re going to have to look at that, too,” Bates said.

Furthermore, Mayor Bill Godbold said the courts will ultimatelydecide the city’s annexation area. He said he thought about gettingindividual alderman’s suggestions for annexation areas, but decidedagainst it in light of the court’s authority.

Ward 4 Alderman Bob Massengill said he would like moreinformation about costs of annexing. The annexation consultant atthe last meeting presented a chart detailing costs but bookletscontaining the information were taken up later.

“I’d love to see a little more detail than that,” Massengillsaid.

Officials hope to meet soon with the annexation consultant.Pending the consultant’s schedule, a work session was planned forearly March.

“If we piddle around, we’re going to be in trouble,” Bumgarnersaid.