Biloxi Moves Forward With Annexation Plans

It's a tug-of-war on a piece of land north of Biloxi. Land that the City of Biloxi wants to annex, but so does the City of D'Iberville.

During Tuesday night's Biloxi City Council meeting, leaders decided to move forward with their plans to annex the land, but the vote didn't come easily.

"If we don't do this, I think that we will in essence kill the development of the city," said Councilman Bill Stallworth.

"If you do this, you're wrong and that's all I've got to say about it," said Councilman David Fayard.

Three were against it, but four council members voted in favor of a resolution to annex land north of Biloxi. The 12 mile stretch of land off of Highway 15 could mean major growth for D'Iberville or Biloxi. However, the City of D'Iberville only wants about two square miles of the property. Some Biloxi council members say their city doesn't need to take on any new ventures.

"Although the administration makes some good points, I don't want to see the city smothered. But I don't want to see us suffocate ourselves," said Councilman Ed Gemmill.

Some residents agree.

"You're going to go out and annex more land and take on more responsibilities when it appears that you having a great deal of difficulty fulfilling the promises that were made a long time ago in the areas that you have already annexed," one resident said at the meeting.

Some say with water and sewer still lacking in some areas of recently annexed Woolmarket, the last thing the City of Biloxi needs is another project. However, supporters of the mayor's proposal say it's the only way the city can grow.

"The reason we need to do this annexation is simple - D'Iberville is going to come over our path of growth if they do this annexation and we allow it to happen," said Tom Wall.

Now it will be up to a judge to decide if Biloxi will take on all the new property, or if it will have to share it with it's neighbor to the east.

At this point, no court date has been set for the annexation.