On Wednesday, January 18, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson released four potential annexation areas for the city, meaning the city could grow in size and population. Read on to learn more.
Why an annexation?
According to WKRG 5, if Mobile refuses to allow an annexation vote, people in fast-growing West Mobile and Theodore could form their own cities.
“You hear a lot of arguments about ‘why would we annex more neighborhoods when we can take care of the ones we have? It’s too expensive. But the revenue and growth of this area not only takes care of that area but helps the entire City of Mobile.”James Barber, Chief of Staff, Mobile City Council
Depending on which of the four maps the city council approves, Mobile’s population could grow between 16,700 to 26,100 residents.
In 2019, an annexation proposal was rejected by Mobile’s city council on strict racial lines.
According WKRG 5, Mayor Stimpson and Barber said the new annexation plans would result in all four areas of the city being majority African American and of voting age.
Before voting on which which of the four current maps to approve, Mobile’s city council approved spending up to $100,000 on an independent study of each of the four proposed annexation areas.
The purpose of the study is to:
- Examine potential revenue + expenses
- Look at demographics
The study will be conducted by PFM financial consultants and be completed in six weeks.
Barber also said if the City of Mobile can exceed a population of 200,000, it will be in line for more federal grants.
“It’s really important that we grow back the city to being the second biggest in Alabama. That 200,00 just really opens up opportunities for federal grants because it puts us in a medium-sized city category rather than a small city category.”James Barber, Chief of Staff, Mobile City Council
After the study
After the study concludes, a resolution to set up an annexation referendum could be added to Mobile’s city council agenda and voted on.
According to Lagniappe Mobile, if approved by five of the seven councilors, Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis has to call for a referendum within about two weeks. Voters in the areas under consideration would then be allowed to vote yes or no on annexation. The areas that vote “yes” will be added to the city limits and the areas that vote no will not be added.
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