Mobile City Council votes against annexation plan

Mobile County

UPDATE (12:39 p.m.) — The Mobile city council has voted down the proposal to annex three parts of West Mobile. For the past few weeks, many in West Mobile have been lobbying to get the chance to vote to join the city.

Council fell just one vote shy of getting the proposal passed, and people in favor of the annexation say this isn’t over.

Mobile City Council has voted against the annexation proposal. The vote was 4-3. Four voted for the proposal, three against. They needed 5 votes in favor in order for it to go up for a public vote.

Dozens of people packed the Mobile city council chambers, anxious to get a vote on the potential annexation of parts of West Mobile.

The three proposed areas for annexation are just west of Schillinger Road, areas north and south of Airport Boulevard past Snow Road, and the King’s Branch area along Bear Fork Road.

For about a month, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson alongside several West Mobile residents have been asking for three areas to join into the city limits.

Mayor Stimpson says the annexation would have raised the city’s population to more than 200 thousand people, but some said there are more important issues.

Three people for the annexation and three people against stood in front of the council to share their views. And then, two former mayors, Mike Dow and current State Representative Sam Jones addressed council, Dow in favor of the proposals and Jones against.

“We can do this. We can make annexation work. But first, it has to be properly vetted. Everything has to be considered, it isn’t just about land, not just about numbers, not just about grants. It’s about people,” said Jones.

But the council, ultimately voted against the proposals.

“It’s a setback, obviously, you do what we’ve tried to do and end up with a vote like this, it’s disappointing,” said Stimpson.

People wanting to be annexed say they’re not finished.

“Our next step is to move forward, we’re going to go address some of the issues brought up in this council meeting,” said Del Sawyer.

John Williams, Gina Gregory, Bess Rich, and Joel Daves all voted for the annexation vote. Levon Manzie, C.J. Small, and Fred Richardson all voted against.

Council needed 5 votes in favor to send the proposals to a special election.

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile City Council members will vote on a proposed annexation plan during Tuesday’s city council meeting. They’re deciding if people in three areas of West Mobile will be allowed to vote on annexing into the city.

The three proposed areas for annexation are just west of Schillinger Road, areas north and south of Airport Boulevard past Snow Road, and the King’s Branch area along Bear Fork Road.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson has been urging council members to vote yes. Stimpson says annexing these areas would bring Mobile’s population to more than 200,000 people making it the second-largest city in Alabama. He argues this would increase the potential for economic development and growth.

If annexed into the city, those residents would be guaranteed police and fire protection. In turn, they would pay city taxes.

Five council members need to vote yes for the measure to pass and not everyone is on board. Two council members have openly said they are opposed to the idea: Fred Richardson and C.J. Small. Richardson argues the plan would cost more than it would bring in.

Richardson said, “We’re only going to collect 2.2-million-dollars from them. It’s going to cost us nearly 40-million-dollars to service them. You think my vote’s going to be yes on that? Do you think you would buy a building to rent and it’s going to cost you 27-million-dollars to buy the building, and the rent you’re going to collect is 2.2-million-dollars? Your expense is going to be 27-million-dollars on that building, and you’re going to collect 2.2-million-dollars, and you’re going to buy the building? I don’t think so.”

If Richardson and Small both vote against the annexation proposal, a third “no” vote would kill it.

If annexation is approved by the city council, the people who live in the proposed areas would need to vote themselves if they want to be part of the city. That special election would take place before the end of the year.

The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce tweeted Tuesday morning urging their members to attend the city council meeting in support of the annexation proposal.

The Mobile City Council meeting is scheduled for 10:30 Tuesday morning. Check back with WKRG for an update when the vote happens.

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