Ocean Springs city leaders approve annexation plans

It was a packed house in Ocean Springs city hall as citizens listened to the Board of Alderman approve an ordinance to begin annexation.
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 8:28 AM CST
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Big changes coming to the city of Ocean Springs... Tuesday evening, city leaders voted to move forward with the annexation process for two areas in Jackson County.

But some residents aren’t in favor of the board’s decision. It was a packed house in Ocean Springs City Hall as citizens listened to the Board of Alderman approve an ordinance to begin annexation.

Mayor Kenny Holloway said this development didn’t happen overnight. The board spent over a year mapping, planning and visualizing where to expand.

“We’re matching the annexation of Gautier basically where they annexed to 57. We moved our city to 57, and it’s identical to where they’re going as far as I-10, and it stops at the same place as they do,” said Mayor Holloway.

Two areas of the annex will happen north and south of Highway 90. This proposed expansion moves Ocean Springs High School, the sportsplex, and other locations within city limits.

“We didn’t want to rush into this. We’re really into it, we’re tip toeing in it. I feel like our map is pretty well solidified and it’s a good area,” said Alderman Bobby Cox.

But, not all parties are in favor of this decision. Jackson County residents like Linda Williams and David Coward are concerned about sewage issues, education and taxes.

“If Ocean Springs can’t take care of what Ocean Springs has right now, why do you need more land, and why do you need more property to take care of. We have drainage issues that’s been going on for 40 plus years,” said Linda Williams.

“To do what they’re wanting to do with the school, they’re going to have to get Gulf Park Estate to balance out their school percentage-wise,” said David Coward.

Here’s Mayor Holloways response to their growing concerns:

“We probably have about 450 students in the entire annexation area. They’re going to be getting taxes, but they’re going to be receiving benefits form the city also. Fire protection, the city will have to put fire hydrants in that area overtime,” said Holloway.

Jackson County District Five Supervisor Randy Bosarge tells WLOX News he plans to move forward with an opposition to the annexation.

In the meantime, city leaders continue to plan the next phase of the plan.

“We feel this is the best option for the city at this time to grow,” said Holloway.

An official map has not been released by the city of Ocean Springs.

Mayor Holloway said bout 1,500 people would become residents once the annexation is approved by a judge.

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