City OKs draft of Starkville annexation ordinance


Vice Mayor Roy A. Perkins, involved during the 1998 annexation, pleading his reasoning against the 2019 annexation. (Photo by Briana Rucker, SDN)

By: 
BRIANA RUCKER
Staff Writer

The mayor and Starkville Board of Aldermen voted 5-2 for City Attorney Chris Latimer and Slaughter and Associates to draft an annexation ordinance for east Starkville.

The last annexation Starkville took place in the fall of 1998, bringing in about 10 square miles.

Some residents who were a part of the 1998 annexation still complain that their tax dollars aren't being utilized for their benefit.

Nearly 21 years later, annexed residents say that they still don't receive sewer services.

Vice Mayor Roy A. Perkins fought persistently against the annexation since 1998.

"I've been through the storm. I've been through all of this and I understand what this is all about," Perkins said.

Mayor Lynn Spruill said the 2019 annexation will effect the corridor of Highway 182 up to the 82 corridor.

The reason behind the annexation is to flesh out enough area for Starkville to flourish business wise.

Spruill pointed out that visitors use 182 as an entry point to Starkville and the annexation will impact their first impression of the city.

Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk said decisions like these are difficult when trying to balance individual wishes against community needs.

"I do think the '98 annexation gave us quite a black eye and probably prevented us from doing some things we should've done from then until now in terms of addressing where we need to be planning, where we expect to see more growth and where we potentially want annexed territory," Sistrunk said.

Opposing arguments of the annexation were that residents who chose to live outside the city limits made that decision for a reason and it is unfair to them for the city to force them in city limits.

University Estates residents present at Tuesday night's meeting were unhappy with the idea of annexation.

One reason being that they would consequently fall under city ordinances.

"They bought their homes where they want to live," Perkins said. "If they wanted to live in the city of Starkville then I think they have the means and the revenue and the ability to live in the city."

Perkins and Ward 7 Alderman Henry N. Vaughan, Sr. voted against the annexation.

Perkins spoke with Darnell and Annie Johnson of Babylon Road who were affected by the 1998 annexation.

The Johnson's wrote a letter to be presented by Perkins for the record, which claimed they do not have sewer services to date.

“Twenty-one years is a long time to be without the day-to-day standards that most city residents enjoy," the Johnsons said in their letter.

Residents who were annexed during that time period were guaranteed city services within five years.

"When you get annexed, from day one, the taxes that you pay provide you with police, they provide you with fire, they provide you with code enforcement, the opportunity to vote planning and zoning, they provide you with courts, parks and rec, streets, engineering," Spruill said.

"Those are the things that from day one you will have access to."

According to Latimer, surveys and legal descriptions have to be gathered before an official draft of the annexation can be completed which could estimated March or April.

Many public hearings will be held as the mayor and Board of Aldermen move forward.

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