D'Iberville is taking steps to expand its city limits. It's a move city leaders say they were pushed into. Last week D'Iberville petitioned the Chancery Court to annex a 2.2 square mile area, located north and west of the city's current boundaries.
Indian Trails is one of several Harrison County subdivisions where residents have the benefits of water and sewer from the city while enjoying country living. D'Iberville wants to change that.
"We have been providing them water and sewer for the last five or six years," said City Manager Richard Rose. "This is to formalize our dedication to the communities out there, 600 plus residents."
Rose says 600 more homes on city tax rolls isn't the main reason for the annexation request. He says D'Iberville has been looking to expand water and sewer service even further outside the city limits.
"We were kind of pushed into this," said Rose. "This wasn't our plan to file annexation. We just want to be able to serve Paradise Bay and D'Iberville High School, the White Plains development without having to go through any annexation."
But to expand service without annexation, the city needs permission from the Public Service Commission. The city's been asking since November for a meeting with the PSC.
Rose said, "We felt like because of the length of time that has taken place for us to get before the Public Service Commission, all the legal and all the attorneys on both sides between D'Iberville and Biloxi, and having the legal issues going on. We felt like we did everything we could to protect the interest of these developers in providing water and sewer to them."
Rose says cities can legally extend water and sewer lines one mile outside the city limits without getting the commission's permission. If D'Iberville annexes the 2.2 square miles, the city could reach the new high school, another 8,000 households, and possibly some future developments.
"We felt like the only way we're going to help Harrison County grow in our commitment and the county's commitment to additional housing is to go ahead and file so we can be within that one mile limit and provide them service," said Rose.
The city manager says D'Iberville is waiting for the courts to set a hearing date on the annexation proposal.