City says no action taken on annexation

Published 5:00 am Friday, June 20, 2003

City officials took no action Thursday night following aclosed-door meeting with attorneys and consultants to discussannexation and other pending city issues.

City Attorney Joe Fernald opened the 6 p.m. meeting with arequest to go into executive session to discuss annexation, theimpact of annexation on the city, and the impact of annexation onplans for a new industrial park, city hall, multi-modal facilityand other city projects. He cited pending litigation on theannexation as the reason to enter into executive session.

The meeting was then closed. Board members, annexationconsultants Mike Slaughter and Demery Grubbs and others, returnedfrom the executive session at 7:30 p.m.

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“There is no report, and no action was taken,” Fernald said.

Aldermen declined further comment about the meeting, stating itwas a report on where they stood with annexation issues.

The city is attempting to increase its land area from 7.3 squaremiles to 23.9 square miles. Demographically, the annexation willincrease the city’s population from 9,861 to 13,198, according toannexation study data.

More than 100 individuals or families have signed their names toa list of those objecting to the annexation. An annexation trial isscheduled for Nov. 5.

City officials have been asked to assist in funding a landpurchase and providing infrastructure for a new industrial park.County officials are also considering their role in the estimated$4.7 million chamber-backed project.

Officials on both sides of the government complex have expressedsupport for the new park, but have not made any fundingcommitments. While county leaders want to get a better idea on bondissue repayment options and school district-related issues, cityofficials are pursuing information on how the park would relate toannexation and other projects such as a new city hall and amulti-modal transportation facility.

Chamber officials have been trying to set up a meeting with allinterested parties to discuss the industrial park situation. Due toscheduling conflicts, that meeting is not expected until July, saidChandler Russ, executive vice-president of the chamber ofcommerce.