STARKVILLE — Starkville will gain new territory within city limits after Oktibbeha County Chancery Court upheld its annexation plan on Tuesday.
After a two-year long court case between the city of Starkville and residents of Oktibbeha County who live outside the city, Chancery Court Judge Joseph Studdard granted Starkville an extension on the boundaries of city limits.
The annexation section consists of the area northeast of MSU and Highway 82, as well as south of Highway 182, including Clayton Village and University Hills. The city originally tried to bring Mississippi State University inside limits, but the university declined, and the aldermen voted in 2017 to annex a smaller portion of the county.
The total area added is 2.3 square miles and an estimated 1,400 residents.
Studdard’s final judgment said that the proposed annexation was reasonable and the city met all statutory and notice requirements related to the annexation.
Spruill, who has pushed for annexation since becoming mayor in 2017, said she was delighted with Tuesday’s decision and is glad this area will now be a part of the city.
“I think the judge saw that we asked for a very reasonable and conservative annexation and that he approved it based on the reasonableness that we put forward,” Spruill said. “I’m very pleased.”
Several residents who lived in the proposed annexation area opposed the annexation, not wanting the area to be within city limits. They have until Dec. 30 to appeal the decision, which would take the case to the Mississippi Supreme Court, until the annexation officially goes into effect.
Aside from tax dollars, Spruill said bringing this area into the city will allow for more economic development and advancement.
“It gives us more opportunity for growth to the east which is where everything is going around the university,” Spruill said. “Additional businesses inside the city are always a good thing. We’ll have additional residents too, so it will be an opportunity to have them be a part of the community that they are already functioning in.”
Dwight Prisock, who represented the objectors, did not respond to calls from The Dispatch by press time.