PETAL, MISS. – The City of Petal looks to expand another seven square miles, pending on the ruling of a Forrest County Judge. Recently, the city made its last agreement in court about why six of the surrounding areas should be annexed and added to the Petal city limits.
“Both sides had a chance to pu on their agreements as to why the city should be able to annex the territory we are requesting,” Petal’s mayor, Hal Marx said. “We are not annexing because we want the tax money. We are annexing because we need the room to build new subdivisions, and have more commercial growth.”
However, those opposed to the annexation believe they are not dependent on services offered by the city and would like to keep their current tax rate.
“The city is already providing a lot of services outside of the area that is not in the city limits now,” Marx said. “We have responded through our fire department and police department many different times over the last several years, into those areas that we are trying to annex.”
The trail currently sits at a standstill and awaits the ruling of a Forrest County judge, which could come as early as January 2019.
“I have no idea what the judge might rule,” Marx said. “I am biased, but I sat in on a lot of the testimonies and also from talking to our attorney, we both feel like we have a strong case.”
Mayor Marx also mentioned that both sides are ready to appeal if the judge does not rule in their favor.