Group against plan

Published 10:45 pm Monday, December 11, 2006

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
A group of north Brewton residents has mobilized agaisnt city officials' attempts to annex their area of the county.
The concerned citizens have started a petition opposing the City of Brewton's proposal to add 8.62 square miles to the city limits.
Hadaway and many other county residents who live north of Brewton attended a public meeting Nov. 28 to protest the city's plan for annexation. As a result of the meeting and other complaints about the proposal, city officials said they would take those concerns into consideration and come up with a new annexation plan.
One of the main concerns among Escambia County school officials is how the annexation proposal could affect the three East Brewton schools that are part of the county school district. County school officials have said that they could lose as many as 125 students - therefore causing them to lose staff.
Proponents of the annexation plan, however, have said that growth is necessary to help attract businesses and to allow for planning and zoning in areas surrounding the city.
But Hadaway said Brewton does not need to annex those areas. &#8220There are other ways to grow besides just in territory,” she said.
City officials have said the original areas they proposed annexation would add about 1,300 people to Brewton's population.
City officials had originally said they hoped to have the Legislature review their annexation proposal by next spring, but they have since abandoned that timeline. Mayor Ted Jennings said the annexation plan will be revised after the annexation study committee reviews the comments submitted by area residents.
In Alabama, a city can annex an area in different ways, including by request of residents and through an act of the Legislature. Annexation proposals must also be reviewed by the U.S. Justice Department, which mainly looks at the impact annexation has on the racial makeup of a community.

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