Bay St. Louis Considering Annexing Property North Of City

Bay St. Louis city leaders spent Monday showing an annexation consultant around Hancock County, looking at areas where the city might consider expanding.

"Most of the areas were basically above the city," Mayor Eddie Favre said. "We're somewhat limited in the direction we can go. We have Waveland on one side and water on two sides, so we're pretty much limited in the direction we can go."

Sources tell WLOX News that the areas being considered now include residential and commercial property one both sides of Highway 603 from the Waveland city limits to I-10.

Mayor Favre says consultants will work up the numbers, the cost of police and fire protection, street and drainage work and potential property and sales tax revenues annexing might bring.

"The actions that the council has taken up to this point is simply to authorize a study. It's not saying there will be any annexation or there won't be, it's simply to determine whether or not it's feasible."

Some local business owners hope so.

"Personally, I think it would be a good idea," said James Quakenbush, who owns a convenience store on Highway 603. "With proper building codes and zoning, you'd be able to have a higher quality of construction."

Carl House owns a muffler repair shop on Highway 603, and he opposes annexation because being part of a city would bring building codes and other regulation.

"Basically it's just another nail in the coffin for freedom," House said. "I don't see what they could give us. We want to more or less be left alone."

Those arguments are sure to come up again, if city leaders decide annexation is its future. Mayor Favre wouldn't confirm exactly which areas are being considered for possible annexation. The feasibility study should be ready for Bay St. Louis leaders in three to four months.