Annexation hearing rescheduled

Published 10:33 pm Saturday, October 27, 2007

A hearing in Pearl River County Chancery Court on the proposed expansion of the Poplarville city limits, initially set for last Monday, has been rescheduled.

An Entry of Appearance document was filed in Pearl River Chancery Court by attorney Benjamin Holland of Parsons Law Office in Wiggins on behalf of Jane Saucier and Bobby Saucier regarding the proposed city limit expansion.

Martin Smith, attorney for the city, said an Entry of Appearance informs the court that the attorney is representing the named individuals in the matter of the enlargement of the city limits. He said it allows them the right of discovery, to question the city’s witnesses and other matters pertaining to the expansion request of the city.

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Smith said at the time of the Monday hearing the city had not heard from anyone regarding objections to the petition. He said Monday when he asked the court to call the case an attorney in the courtroom said there was an objection to the petition.

Smith said he then requested a new date for the petition hearing, which the court set as Dec. 10 in the Lamar County Chancery Court in Purvis.

The petition for the proposed expansion detailing the areas for annexation was adopted by the Poplarville Board of Aldermen on Sept. 4 at their first September meeting. It was published according to law in three succeeding issues of The Poplarville Democrat.

The current proposed boundaries are smaller in area than had been originally presented to the city by its planners, Smith said. Aldermen decided that the original annexation proposal would have required more infrastructure funding than is feasible at the present time, he said.

According to information published in September after the board adopted the ordinance for the expansion, once the annexation petition is approved, the court will set a date for a public hearing. This hearing will allow anyone who objects to the annexation to present their views.

Public notice of the hearing date will be published for three weeks prior to 30 days before the hearing date. In addition, signs giving notice of the hearing will be posted in the areas affected by the annexation.

The areas included in the annexation petition are to the west of the city on either side of Mississippi 26, to the south on either side of Mississippi 53 and including the Interstate 59 intersection and an area currently under development to the southeast, a large block of land to the east along either side of Miss. 26 East and including the I-59 intersection, and a block of land on Jacobs Road that includes the Cornerstone Apartments, the Heatherlands subdivision and the new site of the Sherrard Byrd Masonic Lodge.

Relatively few residents will be affected by the annexation, Smith said, indicating the board’s intentions were primarily focused on commercial areas, thereby enhancing prospects of future development in the city.

Citizens may view a detailed map of the annexation plans at City Hall. Both Mayor Billy Spiers and members of the Poplarville board of aldermen have said they would review the maps and the city’s plans with any concerned citizen.