Miss. Supreme Court upholds ruling in Laurel annexation of Pendorff community

Updated: Sep. 24, 2020 at 3:03 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed a Jones County Chancery Court ruling Thursday that approved Laurel’s proposed annexation of the Pendorff community.

The city of Laurel sought to annex four areas in Jones County in March 2018, but one area south of Laurel’s city limits and north of Ellisville’s city limits along the Highway 11 corridor was contested.

The city of Ellisville contested a small parcel of land within the proposed annexation area, while the Pendorff Community Association contested the entire area.

The case went to trial and Laurel agreed to not annex the small parcel of land contested by Ellisville.

In September 2018, specially appointed Judge James D. Bell approved the annexation, ruling the city provided more than enough evidence to establish the reasonableness of the annexation.

The Pendorff Community Association appealed the ruling to the Mississippi Supreme Court, arguing the chancery court erred when it ruled Laurel had a need to expand and that the city had the financial ability to provide promised municipal services and improvements.

After reviewing the arguments, the Supreme Court ruled the chancery court had made no error, determining that the chancellor’s ruling was based on “substantial and credible evidence.”

Pendorff Community Association President Edward Allegretti said they are disappointed but will hold the city to the provisions of the annexation ruling.

“Very disappointed for the people of Pendorff because all it will mean is increased expenses and regulations with no benefit," Allegretti said. "And very disappointed, really, for the citizens of Laurel because of their predictions of how much income they’re going to get out of Pendorff. I don’t believe will come near to the expense that they’ll incur, and if the city doesn’t provide all these services within five years, per state law, the citizens and businesses of Pendorff can de-annex.”

By annexing the Pendorff community, Laurel agrees to fully provide water and sewer services along with fire and police protection.

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