An increasing number of apartments being built just outside the city of Starkville’s borders makes it likely the city will annex some areas at some point in the future.
But Mayor Parker Wiseman says there’s no definite plan on the table although the city could study annexation sometime in the next two years.
“It’s something we’ll probably have to think about in the next couple of years. There’s a lot of density going up on our borders,” the second-term mayor said. “It just mnakes sense that at some point those areas will be in the city, even if it’s 10 years from now.”
Apartments on Blackjack Road and other areas could house as many as 8,500 people. If those residents were added to the city in a year, Starkville would become the state’s 8th largest city. It’s now 15th, one slot ahead of Columbus.
The city already provides sewer service to many of the areas, eliminating what would be the most expensive service to extend if the city were to annex.
The highest additional cost would be police and fire service.
Meanwhile Columbus has a September trial date in Lowndes County Chancery Court in its two-year effort to annex some areas around the city.
In early 2012, the city council approved annexing about three square miles mostly along its eastern and northern edges. The annexation came after a year of study but has been discussed for almost a decade.
The expansion would add 44 44 business and about 1,500 people.
A handful of those property owners, including the owners of Columbus Nissan, objected, arguing they’ll pay more taxes and get few benefits.
The city contends the property owners already are getting many city services and benefits and will save significantly on insurance premiums.
After the case went to Court in May 2012, little has happened since then although both sides say they intend to take some depositions before the September trial before Judge Kenneth Burns.
Caledonia also is considering hiring an Oxford firm to study possible annexation.