Bay St. Louis and Waveland leaders have solved part of their turf battle. Sources have confirmed to WLOX that instead of going to court over which city will annex Highway 603, the two cities will split the area.
Bay St. Louis will attempt to annex the East side of 603 and Waveland will try for the West. The two cities are still debating over some other county land each city wants to annex, but by sharing busy Highway 603 city leaders hope to speed up their annexation efforts.
"It's foolish for us to be in the position where we're at opposite ends. Especially in light of the fact that the more we're in opposition the more it cost us," Bay St. Louis Ward 2 Council member James Thriffiley said.
Together, the two cities have spent about $300,000 on their annexation bids.
"I realized when you start talking a trial and you have numerous consultants, attorneys for both sides being paid their hourly rates plus their maintenance rates if they're from out of town then I realized that the bill would be so astronomical," Thriffiley said.
The Highway 603 compromise came out of an in executive session last week. They'll meet again this week to figure out how each city can grow along highway 90 without going to court.
"If we could save the people taxpayers dollars that's the bottom line," Waveland Ward 2 Alderman Ricky Geoffrey said.
"I hope that we can work something out where everybody gets a fair share."
Even if the two cities agree on what areas they want to annex, the fight isn't over. Residents and business owners opposed to any annexation are expected to go to court.
The second meeting between the two sides is scheduled for Tuesday night. If a compromise is reached, both councils will vote to accept the plan.
The annexation trials are scheduled to start this fall.