Annexation study again delayed

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 28, 2001

NATCHEZ – Natchez officials do not expect to receive the results of an annexation study until mid-January

Originally Jackson consultant Joseph Lusteck, who was hired by the Board of Aldermen in September, was due to present the study in mid-November.

But City Attorney Walter Brown said in November the report would be presented in mid-December because Lusteck started work late.

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Neither Lusteck nor Brown could be reached for comment Thursday.

Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith confirmed Thursday that the study is now expected in mid-January.

And when the study is completed, it will be presented at a time when all city officials can be present, Smith said – probably at a Board of Aldermen meeting, which would also be open to the public.

Byron Garrity, chairman of Adams County Concerned Citizens Against Annexation, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

But Bob Joseph, secretary of the group, said he hopes to be present when the study’s results are presented. After all, he said, the organization cannot take steps to prevent annexation until it knows what the city’s plans are.

&uot;There’s little we could do until the city decides to do something,&uot; Joseph said.

He, for one, hopes the group can meet face-to-face with city officials to &uot;hopefully work out something, but I don’t know what that would be yet.&uot;

Brown said the city might not be prepared to file a petition in Adams County Chancery Court until spring 2002.

Brown said possible areas of annexation include land along the city’s north and south corridors; land to Natchez’s south along the Mississippi River; and land near Highland Boulevard.