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Annexation opponents raise more than $4,000

Objectors to Brookhaven’s annexation said a Thursday fish fryfund-raiser was an overwhelming success and is an example of howmany people are opposed to the expansion plans.

“This is awesome,” objectors’ spokeswoman Sandra Gerald saidThursday afternoon during a brief lull in fund-raiser traffic atBrookway Market Basket.

At times earlier in the day, Gerald said traffic was backed upand stretched down the boulevard. Gerald said more than 1,000tickets were sold prior to the event.

“Not all of the 1,000 were picked up, but we’ve done real good,”Gerald said, estimating there were approximately 120 additionalwalk-up customers.

In addition to plate purchases, Gerald said several people madedonations to the objectors’ cause. Others offered pats on the backor prayers.

“We’re taking that, too,” Gerald said.

Later, Gerald said objectors netted over $4,000 from thefund-raiser and donations. She said their goal was $3,000.

“We’re overwhelmed with the response,” Gerald said.

Gerald said the success of the fund-raiser should be anindication of the level of opposition to the city’s annexation.

“I wish the city board would look at this and realize there’sthis many people not in favor of city expansion,” Gerald said.

Overall, objectors are trying to raise $20,000 to $25,000 fortheir court fight against the city’s annexation. Gerald did not sayhow close objectors are, but she expected to be able to file anappeal in the near future.

“We’re still soliciting funds for our goal,” Gerald said.

Following a trial last year and earlier this year, SpecialChancellor John C. Ross Jr. authorized Brookhaven’s annexation of14.4-square miles of county territory. The city had sought a16.6-square mile area, but land west of Interstate 55 and a privatelandowner’s property were excluded.

Ross issued his order May 3. After a legal description of theallowed annexation area was completed and attorneys involved in thetrial had signed the order, it was entered last Friday in LincolnCounty Chancery Court.

Objectors have 30 days to file an appeal. The last date for anappeal was calculated to be Sept. 7.

Barring an appeal, the city is expected to begin providingservices, such as police and fire protection, to the proposedannexation area Tuesday. An appeal would halt implementation of theannexation and, depending on its timing, city services either wouldnot be extended or pulled back to cover only the existing city.

Gerald said she had spoken with opponents to other annexationsgoing on around the state and mentioned the possibility of a rallyto encourage the legislature to change laws regarding annexation.She said rural areas are being taken over by cities.

“It’s time for people to say no, and Brookhaven is a good placeto start,” Gerald said.