By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times
MANTACHIE – It’s looking like the town of Mantachie will annex a portion of Fawn Grove, but not without some infighting.
During a special meeting last week, the Mantachie Board of Aldermen voted in a split decision to pursue the annexation of an area within Fawn Grove. Aldermen Mike Horton, Tim Spradling and Wayne Guin voted in favor of pursuing the annexation while aldermen Tim Jones and Matt Fennell voted against, arguing that the project was too costly.
With the vote passed, the board will begin the process of incorporating the right of way on Fawn Grove road south to the Toyota Boshoku plant as well as the corners where Fawn Grove Road intersects both Highway 371 and Highway 78. The estimated cost of the project, including attorney and surveyor’s fees, is about $15,000.
Originally, there was talk of incorporating Fawn Grove outright, but board members said there would be too much opposition to this move. This new plan prepares the town to reap the benefits of any potential businesses that might pop up in the area but allows the residents of Fawn Grove to remain outside Mantachie’s limits.
According to board members, the owners of the land in question have expressed support for the annexation.
The decision wasn’t reached without opposition. Jones was a vocal opponent of the move, expressing concern for both the financial drain the annexation would have to the town’s thinning budget and services currently unavailable to residents already within town limits.
“I feel like we need to supply the people who are already within annexed areas with the services they have been promised,” Jones said, speaking specifically of Camp, Mt. Pisgah and Sonny’s roads, all of which were annexed more than a decade ago and none of which currently have sewer service. “Why would we not give the people who are already inside the annexation the services they were promised?”
According to town bylaws, residents living within annexed areas are to be provided with utilities services within a “reasonable amount of time.” The estimated cost of providing the 25 or so homes within those areas with sewer service is about $300,000.
Contact Adam Armour at (662) 862-3141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.