PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Forrest County residents included in Petal's proposed annexation plans said Monday they don't want to become part of the city.
Dorothy McDonald said she's lived in the Eatonville community since 1969, and said she wants things to stay the way they are now.
"I think it's a beautiful, beautiful area in Forrest County," McDonald said. "I do not want to see Petal annex us. We don't need the high city taxes. I mean, they're building and building, and now they want to take our money in order to help them pay for what they are building. I don't think it's a good idea."
Pat Skaggs has also lived in Forrest County for more than 40 years and wants to continue to live in the county.
"We like the county," Skaggs said. "Everybody in this area would rather not be annexed into Petal. We'd just rather they didn't do that. We don't want to have to pay the city taxes and don't understand why they'd even consider doing that."
David Guelker has lived in Eatonville for more than 40 years and said he thinks city services, like fire and police protection, could be beneficial, but thinks residents will oppose annexation because of city taxes.
"I think think that, you know, the services that you would get and so forth would be worth it," he said. "But you know a lot of people, they look at it (as an) increase in taxes, and they don't get the services right of the bat. I've known over the years that property has gone within the city limits of Hattiesburg that used to not be, and some of the services that you get there are, you know, turn out to be good."
McDonald said she's happy with the services the county currently provides.
"We get enough service already," she said. "The county sheriff's department rides by my house everyday, every night, so we are patrolled well. We don't need the City of Petal. It's a wonderful place for children to grow up. North Forrest High School is really nice. I just think it's a wonderful area, and we don't need, we don't need anybody else coming in taking over."
Here are the official maps for Petal's proposed annexation plan: