LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - The City of Laurel is preparing for the possibility of annexing the Pendorff community after the city council approved the facilities and service plan this week.
"Which means they approved us doing the upgrades that will be done within five years after Pendorff is annexed into the City of Laurel," Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee said.
Magee said this is the newest information unfolding from the city's angle, which seeks to annex the community south of Laurel, despite continued opposition from Pendorff leaders.
"That includes adding police men," he said. "We are going to add four new police men. We are going to add two new police cars. We are going to add 70 fire hydrants. We will upgrade the water lines in Pendorff."
Currently, water lines in Pendorff are too small to support fire hydrants, according to Magee. He said this should change the area's current fire rating of 10, which is the worst rating, to a five, which will ultimately decrease insurance costs for homes and business in that area.
"We understand there is opposition, but for the most part when it all comes out in the wash, they will be better off by being a part of the City of Laurel," Magee said. "I know some people don't want to be a part of the City of Laurel, and I understand that. But, we feel it's in our path of growth and it will be a good increase for the Pendorff residents and the residents in the City of Laurel."
There will be no official word on the annexation until the trial starts June 4th.
If annexed, residents will have police and fire protection, as well as sanitation pick-up from day one, according to Magee. The remaining services will come into play within the first five years of the annexation.
Edward Allegretti, president of the Pendorff Community Association, and many in the community are against annexation.
"According to financials provided by the city, they ambitiously estimate they will receive $3 million in revenue from Pendorff in the first 5 years," Allegretti said. "It will cost them $17 million just to provide Pendorff with sewer and water. This amount doesn't include increased police staff, other possible staff, sidewalks and street lights."
"The City is not in a financial condition to take on this extreme additional expense," Allegretti added. "Why aren't the citizens of Laurel doing something to stop their leaders from attempting this unwanted and unnecessary annexation attempt?"