Residents organize to fight city plan

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Sept. 13, 2002
North Lauderdale County residents in the path of Meridian's proposed annexation publicly vented their opposition for the first time Thursday night, vowing to oppose the move in court.
About 300 county residents packed into the gymnasium at Northeast Middle School, hearing from specialists on how they might best avoid becoming city residents.
A Jackson-based lawyer and a Biloxi-based planner told the group about the annexation process and began to outline how it could be successfully opposed.
Jim Carroll, of the law firm Carroll, Warren &Parker, has been hired by concerned citizens in north Lauderdale County to represent them in the annexation case.
Carroll represented the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors in the early 1990s when city officials tried to annex about 50 square miles of land outside its borders. In 1994, Meridian was eventually authorized to take in about 10 square miles of land near Bonita Lakes.
Carroll said he thinks residents in north Lauderdale County have a good shot a successfully staying out of the city limits.
Carroll said the residents would not benefit from living within the city's limits because Meridian can't provide better services to them.
Some of the residents agree.
Eagle Pointe resident Albert Herrington, who helped organize the meeting, said he was pleased to see the overflow crowd.
The meeting comes about two months after Meridian officials announced plans to take in 11.8 square miles of land north, east and west of the city.
City officials filed a proposed annexation ordinance in Lauderdale County Chancery Court last month to begin the legal process after the Meridian City Council announced its intention to annex property in all four directions at a July 16 meeting.
The proposed annexation area includes 634 homes and 51 businesses, Briarwood Country Club, Eagle Pointe, a new industrial complex along Interstate 20/59, the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Industrial Park, the Jaycee Soccer Complex on Old Eighth Street Road and three Northeast Lauderdale schools.

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