Annexation Trial Delayed

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The trial opposing annexation by the city of Meridian into northeast Lauderdale County has been delayed several times.

Annexation attorney Jim Carroll of Jackson, who represents Lauderdale County, told supervisors Monday that the case has been postponed again, this time until July 25.

"The annexation case, which was scheduled for this Monday, has been continued by the court for a number of reasons," said Carroll. "The city will use this opportunity apparently to correct what we contend, we being the opponents of the annexation, were once again errors of the description contained in the amended ordinance passed by the city."

Carroll said it is not unusual for cities and counties to fight each other, both using tax dollars from the same residents.

"The board of supervisors make their own decisions about which annexation to oppose and which not to oppose and this board obviously decided that for a number of reasons they wanted to oppose this annexation," Carroll said.

Carroll said his best case scenario is that the case will come to trial in July, but after that it is a matter of how long the trial and the almost certain appeals will take.

"There could be a final judgment entered early next year but as far as final conclusion on appeal, it would probably be at least 2007, in our professional opinion, before an annexation award could be final," said the attorney.

The city originally asked that part of the G.V. Sonny Montgomery Industrial Park be included, but the council has since voted to not include that property in their request.

Joe Norwood, president of the Board of Supervisors, was non-committal over whether or not that might make difference.

"I guess you can say that's a possibility, but we're not for sure," Norwood said. "That would have to be a board position, and right now our position is we do oppose this particular annexation."