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IN THE MATTER OF THE EXTENSION OF THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CITY OF MOSS POINT, MISSISSIPPI v. ANN LOUISE SHERMAN

AUGUST 06, 1986

IN THE MATTER OF THE EXTENSION OF THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CITY OF MOSS POINT, MISSISSIPPI
v.
ANN LOUISE SHERMAN, ET AL.



BEFORE HAWKINS, DAN LEE AND ANDERSON

HAWKINS, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This is an appeal by the City of Moss Point from a decree of the chancery court of Jackson County denying an ordinance of the City of Moss Point seeking to extend and enlarge its municipal corporate limits.

Finding the chancellor's opinion supported by substantial evidence and not manifestly wrong, we affirm.

 FACTS

 The City of Moss Point sought to annex approximately 12 square miles of area located on the north boundary of the city and encompassing the area commonly known as Escatawpa.

 The annexation effort was opposed by Anne Louise Sherman and other residents and citizens of the Escatawpa area.

 On October 1, 1983, the chancery court issued its written opinion denying the proposed annexation based upon Moss Point's failure to meet the fourth and eighth criteria set forth by this Court in its opinion in City of Jackson v. City of Ridgeland, 388 So.2d 152 (Miss. 1980).

 LAW

 I.

 4. The municipality's financial ability to make the improvements and furnish municipal services promised.

 The chancellor's finding with regard to this criteria is as follows:

 The law favors annexation and I assumed from the outset of the trial that the Petitioner would prevail. This assumption continued throughout a careful study of my notes on the testimony and the exhibits and entered in evidence. The proof is just not there. It was not material as to what four years the Petitioner used to make its projections. What was material was that the

 projected growths were not verifiable or substantiated. The stagnant and declining economy of the city was not offset by the anticipated new revenue. The known new cost for city services coupled with the unusual expense of the utility district contract are too great to be answered by saying that the city is conservative and has an excellent bond rating.

 This Court after a careful review of the record in this case is of the opinion that the chancellor's holding as to Moss Point's inability to substantiate and verify its ability to finance the acquisition requested is supported by credible substantial ...


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