BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, PRATHER and SULLIVAN
ROY NOBLE LEE, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:
This appeal is from a final decree of the Chancery Court, First Judicial District, Hinds County, Mississippi, ratifying and approving an ordinance adopted by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Clinton dated February 2, 1982. The appellants have assigned the following errors in the trial below:
(1) The City of Clinton has totally failed to show any need to expand.
(2) Sections 15, 16, 17 and 18, Township 6 North, Range 1 West, being the north and northeast area of the presently existing City of Clinton boundaries are not reasonably in the path of Clinton's growth pattern.
(3) The evidence did not disclose any health hazards existing in Sections 15, 16, 17 and 18, Township 6 North, Range 1 West, and hence does not constitute a basis to justify annexation.
(4) The City of Clinton has failed to demonstrate a financial capability to make the improvements and provide municipal services as promised.
(5) Sections 15, 16, 17 and 18, Township 6 North, Range 1 West, have no need of the services offered by the City of Clinton.
(6) The lower court erred in overruling appellant's motion to reopen for the purpose of introducing newly-discovered evidence.
The City of Clinton was comprised of 6,238 acres prior to the proposed annexation, and the area ordered to be annexed constitutes 9,310.7 acres. After a lengthy hearing, the chancellor rendered the following opinion, which states the facts of the case and the basis of the decree:
At a regular meeting of the Board of Aldermen of the City of Clinton, Mississippi held on February 2, 1982 an ordinance was duly enacted extending and enlarging the corporate limits of the City. The said ordinance was published according to law in the Clinton News, the newspaper having a general circulation in the City of Clinton and Hinds County, Mississippi. On February 11, 1982 the City filed its petition in this Court for ratification, approval and confirmation of the ordinance. A certified copy of the ordinance, together with the requisite map was attached to the petition. The ordinance defines with certainty the territory proposed to be included in the corporate limits.
In accordance with the terms and provisions of Section 21-1-27 Mississippi Code of 1972, the ordinance in general terms described the proposed improvements to be made in the territory proposed for annexation, the manner and extent of such improvements and the approximate time within such improvements are to be made. It is stated that the City shall make the following improvements in the territory proposed for annexation within a reasonable time, not to exceed five years from the effective date of the ordinance, unless delayed by war or military preparedness: A. Improve existing streets and drainage; B. Install water lines, water service, sewage disposal lines, sewage treatment facilities, and street lighting where necessary and economically feasible; C. Said services to be furnished in the same manner and to the same extent as such services are being furnished to the present citizens of the municipality.
The ordinance further sets out a statement of the municipal or public services which the City proposes to render in the annexed territory and to the
same extent as such services are being furnished to the present citizens of the municipality, such services to begin on the effective date of the ordinance, to-wit: A. Police protection; B. Fire protection; C. Garbage removal; D. Trash and other debris removal; E. Pest control; F. Maintenance of existing streets; G. The right to exercise the ballot in municipal elections upon registering and meeting all statutory and constitutional requirements and upon approval under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the use and benefits of all other municipal services and facilities furnished all present citizens of the municipality of the City of Clinton, Mississippi; including, but not limited to the use of its public parks, recreational facilities, the use of the library facilities, and the use and benefit of all other municipal services and facilities furnished by the City of Clinton to all of the present citizens of the municipality.
On February 16, 1982 this Court entered an order fixing the date for hearing for said petition; that is to say, April 27, 1982. Thereupon, notice to all persons interested in, affected by, having objections to, or being aggrieved by the ordinance was given by publication according to ...