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Board makes it official; starts annexation process

Brookhaven aldermen Tuesday approved a resolution authorizingattorneys to file documents in chancery court for the city to beginthe annexation process, although some demographic data has not beenfinalized.

The board approved the petition filing, which is expected to bedone within the next seven days, following an over-two hour meetingwith annexation attorney Jerry Mills and consultant Mike Slaughter.The meeting was held almost entirely in a closed executivesession.

After returning from the closed discussion, aldermen approvedthe resolution 6-0. Ward 3 Alderman Jerry L. Wilson was absent forthe vote after being called away to address a family situation.

Alderman-at-large Les Bumgarner, who in September voted againstan ordinance defining the annexation area, said last night’smeeting was productive and informative.

“I think it’s time to move forward,” Bumgarner said aboutannexation plans.

Bumgarner said the city is facing a deadline on elections thatare two years away. He said justice sometimes moves slowly, and heexpressed concerns about making sure people have the right to votein city elections if they are annexed.

“It’s time to go to court to see if we annex or not,” Bumgarnersaid.

Depending on opposition and court scheduling issues,Brookhaven’s annexation could take effect as soon as the spring, orthe process could last into late 2003, Mills said earlierTuesday.

According to preliminary demographic data about the annexation,the expansion would increase the city’s land area from 7.3 squaremiles to 23.9 square miles.

In terms of population, the total would rise from the current9,861 to 13,198. In racial breakdown, the city is currently 47.6percent white and 51.4 black. If annexation is approved, thepercentages would be 48.7 percent white and 50.2 percent black.

In some cases, consultants said, it has been a year sinceannexation data was collected. Consultants said annexation data waspreliminary and would need to be updated before it could befinalized.

Like Bumgarner, Ward 1 Alderman Dorsey Cameron said the meetingwas informative. He was supportive of annexation plans and thepositive influence it can have on the community.

“It’s going to benefit the city as a whole,” Cameron said.”That’s what people need to look at.”