Judge dismisses portion of Petal annexation plan

Judge dismisses portion of Petal annexation plan

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - A specially appointed judge dismissed a portion of Petal's annexation plans that would take in a portion of The Glendale Utility District.

Glendale Utility District sued Petal in July, with the utility's attorney Pat Zachary arguing the annexation plans violated a federal code protecting rural water districts from being taken over by cities.

In the summary judgment, Judge Robert Lancaster, the specially appointed chancery court judge overseeing Petal's annexation case, explains the city is only trying to annex a portion of the utility's service area, but not the Glendale Utility District's entire service territory.

Lancaster granted the utility district a summary judgment, saying "the City of Petal may not annex Area 1 as described in its petition for annexation," and "the Glendale Utility District of Forrest County, Mississippi and the Glendale Concerned Citizens LLC are granted summary judgment denying the request in the petition for the annexation of Area 1."

Petal Mayor Hal Marx said that part of the annexation case is being put on hold, but may be revisited through and appeal or asking lawmakers to change the law. Marx said the city plans to move forward with the rest of the annexation case and said the other areas do not have the same issue.