Bay St. Louis Studying Feasibility Of Annexation

Bay St. Louis city leaders are being tight lipped about which direction they want the city to grow.

"I really don't want to discuss the area, because we're in the very preliminary discussion about annexation," Councilman at Large Bill Taylor said. "We're just looking to increase the sales tax base for Bay St. Louis."

Sources tell WLOX NEWS that the areas under consideration include commercial property on Highway 90 and land on the east side of Highway 603. County property on Longfellow road as well as the Garden Isles community are possibilities too.

City leaders wouldn't confirm any site just yet.

"Anything we would try to annex would probably be on the border of Waveland and in Hancock County, so I'm sure we'd get some resistance from both entities," Taylor said. "Our first move is going to be talking about hiring a consultant to let us know the feasibility of annexing anything. I don't want to get people all excited about saying we're going to do this, that, and the other, not really knowing where we're going yet."

Residents and business owners not part of the city now already have strong opinions about whether Bay St. Louis might add them to the city roster.

"I don't see any benefits of becoming a part of the city, because simply if they annex us, they're supposed to supply us with police protection. We've already got the Sheriff's Department. Supply us with water, we have our own water. We have our own utilities," business owner Doug Taillac said. "The only thing I could see them supplying us with is more taxes."

"My feeling is, if it will better our community, I would certainly consider it," Garden Island resident Shirley Seals said. "If it will not, I would rather be left alone."

But leaders in the Bay say the city can't stand still, and that's why they're exploring annexation options.

Councilman Taylor says the first annexation move will be for the city to hire a consultant to study the feasibility of annexation, and which area might be best suited to become part of Bay St. Louis.

By Al Showers