By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Aldermen this week approved the first steps in possible additional annexations.
“One of the pieces of property we’re looking at is the Callicutt property south of the Franklin property,” said City Engineer Bart Robinson.
The Franklin property is about 160 acres that includes the site of the proposed new Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. Its owners have petitioned for inclusion in the city, pointing out that the property is bordered on three sides by current city limits.
Both the Franklin tract and the 150-acre Callicutt property lie between Old Taylor Road and Lamar Boulevard. No connector roads exist between Old Taylor and Lamar south of the Highway 6 frontage road, a limitation on both development and emergency access.
The hospital proposal calls for extending Belk Boulevard from Lamar to the new hospital and connecting it with Old Taylor via Bickerstaff Road. The Callicutt annexation would add another such possibility.
“That would be the property that we could potentially extend County Road 300 through,” said Alderman Janice Antonow. County Road 300 is a narrow, bumpy road serving fewer than a dozen homes and one church, but city officials have voiced a hope that county officials would upgrade it if extension becomes feasible.
The annexation of the hospital site and adjoining land will be argued in Chancery Court next month. Several landowners involved in a development that was once a candidate for the hospital construction have opposed its inclusion in the city.
If that annexation proposal is not approved, Oxford would not further pursue the Callicutt annexation, Robinson said.