City presented with study area annexation plan

Pictured is the first study area of the possible annexation of the city presented by President of Slaughter & Associates Urban Planning Consultants Mike Slaughter. The green represents the city of Starkville and the salmon color represents the preliminary annexation area.
By: 
LOGAN KIRKLAND
Staff Writer

The Starkville Board of Aldermen received the first study area regarding the annexation of the city during their work session on Fri- day.

President of Slaughter & Associates Urban Planning Consultants Mike Slaughter presented the study area to the board. He said the study is far from complete because there are many factors still in need to be analyzed.

“We want this annexation to benefit the community, not just the city,” Slaughter said.

With phase one of the study area, it identifies land use, demographics, population and racial composition. Then there is an assessed value through ad valorem taxes and sales tax if there are enough businesses in the area.

Mayor Lynn Spruill said she was pleased with the presentation because the annexation will give the city an opportunity to appear much larger, which attracts retail growth, economic growth, eco- nomic development and restaurant growth.

“That’s one of those trigger points that becomes important for getting funding,” Spruill said

With the study, Spruill said it is important to realize these are just study areas and through preliminary plans, it is hard to know if it will work properly for the city and its residents.

“It’s got to be economically feasible, it has to make sense for our future and it’s got to make sense for the people who would be included in the city,” Spruill said.

Spruill said there are many urban areas within the study that would be a “natural fit” into the new guidelines. She said there are many cases where people are receiving city services, but are not paying for those services.

Slaughter will sit down with all department heads and see how the annexation will affect each of them individually through its expansion of services. “What do we get from it and what is it going to cost us,” Spruill said. “Is that a reasonable balance of services.”

The board will vote on the approval of the study area at their next meeting on Nov. 21.

OTHER BUSINESS

• The board discussed a new bollard plan for the city of Starkville. Bollards are used to block off streets for special events and weekend activities. The board agreed on moving forward on creating amore in-depth plan.

• The board discussed a proposed tactical urbanism project brought to the board by Ward 4 Alderman Jason Walker. The temporary project would close off one lane of traffic on University Drive by the Public Library to provide a space for leisure activities or bicycle parking. This item was moved to the consent agenda.

• The board discussed the pros and cons of the proposed changes to the smoking ordinance.The next board meeting will host the final public hearing on the ordinance change. The board said it may not take action on Nov. 21.

• The board discussed the approval of the Mayor’s mural program for public spaces in the city.

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