Chris Watson and other representatives of Oxford-based Bridge and Watson this week spoke to city department heads to gather data for a continuing annexation study.
Watson, who is gathering information related to annexing prescribed areas, including determining the financial impact annexation would have on the city, likely will present further data to the council in late March.
The Columbus City Council earlier advised Chris Watson, of Bridge and Watson, to study annexing areas east of Columbus, north of Columbus, along Highway 45 North and small areas south of Columbus.
Additionally, Watson was asked to analyze the possibility of annexing the property on Highway 373 on which a new middle school will be located and the property, near the Columbus Riverwalk, where Ruben”s Fish House currently is located.
Watson also is studying the possibility of annexing Columbus Air Force base “from right-of-way to right-of-way,” not nearby residential areas.
Annexing CAFB likely would increase the city”s population by about 3,500 people, as well as increase the city”s average income and education levels, Columbus-Lowndes Development Link CEO Joe Higgins earlier said.
If the council decides to annex any areas, a city ordinance would be proposed; the next step for annexation would be a hearing with a Chancery Court judge.
If the annexation plans are not contested, a ruling on annexation would be effective 30 days after a chancellor ruled, but if objectors protest annexation, the process could “take years,” Watson earlier noted.
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