CATEGORY: Chickasaw County
OKOLONA LOOKS AT ANNEXATION
By Eileen Bailey
OKOLONA - Okolona's Board of Aldermen is examining a small annexation near an interchange where new U.S. Highway 45 is being constructed in Chickasaw County.
Okolona Mayor Billy Whitt said the half-square-mile annexation is in the planning stages and the city has begun to gather information about its need.
"We are looking at the pros and cons," Whitt said.
The proposed site is about a mile east of the city limits, near where the new Highway 45 interchange is located. Whitt said he is hoping the area is a place where businesses might want to locate. Most of the site is farm land and only three or four property owners would be affected, Whitt said.
The area is already in the Okolona School District and on the Okolona water and power systems. Sewer services would have to be added.
The proposed area reaches 3/4 mile into Monroe County and is located between Okolona and Wren, Whitt said. Other cities in the state have annexed into neighboring counties.
As part of the planning process, Whitt said he has presented the annexation to supervisors in Chickasaw and Monroe counties. The Chickasaw Board of Supervisors, he said, agreed with the annexation, while the Monroe County Board of Supervisors took a neutral stance.
The city had asked the Three Rivers Planning and Development office in Pontotoc for study of the proposed area but was turned down, Whitt said. The city is now looking for a private firm to help draw up a plan so it can be presented to the property owners and residents.
There is no timetable for the annexation. "We are just taking it easy," Whitt said. "We have just got started on it."
He said the city still needs to talk to property owners. Whitt said to his knowledge there has been no organized opposition to the annexation. The city board has taken no official actions in the annexation.
Records with the Mississippi secretary of state's office show the proposed annexation would be the first for Okolona since 1970. The city has a population of a little more than 3,200.