Madison County in process of ‘de-annexing’ residents from southwest fire district

It’s official. Ridgeland residents in the newly annexed area will soon no longer be paying taxes for the county fire department southwest district.

Currently the residents are still classified as part of that district although Ridgeland provides fire coverage. Once official, the homeowners will not have to help support the southwest district through taxes.

During the March 6 Madison County Board of Supervisors meeting, board attorney Katie Bryant Snell brought forward the topic during the old news session.

“The city of Ridgeland annexed a certain territory, which overlaps the southwest Madison fire district. Because there’s an existing fire district, that fire district has jurisdiction and provides service to those people even though they’re in the newly annexed area until (the fire district) de-annexes that particular area,” she said.

The southwest fire district approved a resolution to de-annex that area in October, according to Snell. However, since the resolution was not recorded in the minutes of the meeting, Snell said the board cannot acknowledge the resolution. “If they haven’t approved the resolution, they can ratify it or do a new resolution and this board can acknowledge it,” Snell said.

District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen asked  the fire district to adopt the resolution again before the board, and then the board will acknowledge it.

Ridgeland’s annexation became official in September 2016, when the board approved the city’s petition. The two new annexed sections are located south of Lake Castle Road and east of Livingston Road. Within those two sections are 104 homes and 274 residents.

“One of the reasons the city wanted to annex the area is because of property owner requests,” said Jerry Mills, Ridgeland city attorney in a previous Sun article. “There’s also a million-gallon water tank placed in the (annexed) area and they’ve provided service at in-city rates.”

The roads included in the annexation are Aaron Lane, Alexander Drive, Aurthur Lane, Hickory Road, Hill Lane, Lucius Road, Pine Tree Lane, Travis Rodgers Lane and Walter Payton Lane. Altogether, these roads add 3.30 miles of road to the city.

Of the two areas added, part of the northern section includes a portion of Bridgewater. Twenty-two lots were added to Bridgewater in late June, and a final plat was approved for two more during the September 6, 2016, board meeting.

The 22 lots are “adjacent to Heron’s Landing,” according to Alan Hart, Ridgeland community development director, and sit on 15 acres between the Heron’s Landing area of Bridgewater and Livingston Road.

In June of last year, the mayor and board discussed an ordinance that would expand Ridgeland westward to include a small section of Bridgewater that had developed past city limits.

RIDGELAND HAS had multiple annexations since its inception as the Village of Ridgeland in 1899 (it was known as the Town of Ridgeland in 1947 and became the City of Ridgeland in 1975). In more recent years, specifically since 1996, Ridgeland has continued to expand westward. Before 1996, the city moved outward. The city has had 11 annexations since 1899. 

Most of the population and land growth has occurred over the last 35 years. In 1980, the city’s square mileage was 3.6. Today, it rests at 21.4 square miles.

That same year, the population rested at almost 5,500. Today, Ridgeland has more than 24,000 residents.

A full map of the city and its annexations can be found at www.northsidesun.com.

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