A trial date has been set in the Oktibbeha County Chancery Court following a complaint to the court from 30 individuals and one business.

The trial is scheduled for June 15, 2020.

Other important dates for the procedure were outlined in court documents.

The city of Starkville will have until Dec. 2 to provide information regarding any expert witnesses it will use for its case while objectors will have until Jan. 2, 2020 to provide the same information.

Discovery, the process where opposing parties in a lawsuit present facts and information regarding a case, is set to be completed by March 1 of next year.

A status conference that will provide updates before the trial begins is currently scheduled for May 6, 2020.

Of the objectors, 12 will be represented by Oxford-based attorneys S. Ray Hill and David O'Donnell.

The Retreat at Starkville, a subsidiary of Landmark Properties in Athens, Georgia, was the sole business listed as an objector and will be represented by Starkville attorney Charles Yoste.

Representatives for the objectors could not be reached by press time

Many of the objectors publicly spoke out against annexation this summer during public hearings on the matter.

In response to the court complaint, Mayor Lynn Spruill said she respected the right of citizens to object but was undeterred in her belief that annexation was the best path forward.

Spruill argued bringing parts of the county around the Highway 182 corridor into the city made sense because many city residents already felt like those areas were in Starkville.

Furthermore, Spruill said bringing those areas into the city would raise property values while promoting more development and growth.

While acknowledging the right citizens had to present their case in court, Spruill said she still felt the city's case for annexation was stronger and pointed specifically to the 12 factors of reasonableness, which are guidelines to determine the validity of a proposed annexation.

Spruill said part of the pushback against annexation probably boiled down to one factor.

"People don't like change," Spruill said.

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