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WILLIAM D. BASSETT, ENAMEL PRODUCTS AND PLATING COMPANY, J. C. AINSWORTH, SR., DAISY J. AINSWORTH, V. R. KING AND J. J. KING v. TOWN OF TAYLORSVILLE

APRIL 19, 1989

WILLIAM D. BASSETT, ENAMEL PRODUCTS AND PLATING COMPANY, J. C. AINSWORTH, SR., DAISY J. AINSWORTH,
V.
R. KING AND J. J. KING v. TOWN OF TAYLORSVILLE, MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE HAWKINS, P.J.; ROBERTSON AND PITTMAN, JJ.

ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

I.

Today's case appeals a chancery court's confirmation of the Town of Taylorsville's annexation of lands comprising about 1.45 square miles and lying generally to the north and west of the prior town limits. Appellants, two entrepreneurs and four owners of undeveloped agricultural lands, argue that the annexation of their properties is patently unreasonable. Our review of the proceedings below yields the firm and definite conviction that the decision below was consistent with established law and well within the evidence.

 We affirm.

 II.

 Today's appellants are

 (a) William D. Bassett, sole stockholder of Automatic Plating, Inc., a contract metal coating operation which plates metal with a nickel, chrome or zinc covering. Automatic Plating does business in the Industrial Park area lying to the west of the pre-annexation town limits.

 (b) Enamel Products and Plating Company is a Mississippi corporation which operates Solar Hardware Company as a local division and has a place of business in the Industrial Park area.

 (c) J. C. Ainsworth, Sr. and Daisy J. Ainsworth own property in the area north of the current town limits, a portion of which will be taken into the town under the annexation.

 (d) V. R. King and J. J. King *fn1 own property north of the current town limits to the west of the Ainsworth property.

 On April 1, 1986, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the Town of Taylorsville adopted an ordinance declaring that the public convenience and necessity required expansion of the town limits to include the area at issue. *fn2 On May 8, 1986, the Town filed its complaint in the Chancery Court of Smith County, seeking confirmation of the annexation. Miss. Code Ann. 21-1-29 (1972). The present Appellants appeared and answered, objecting to confirmation of the annexation. The case was in due course called for plenary trial on the reasonableness of the annexation.

 As per the 1980 census, 1,387 persons lived in Taylorsville, approximately 72% white, 28% black. The proposed area has approximately 188 persons, 100% white. *fn3 On a tax base of approximately 2.7 million dollars in 1987, the Town collected $68,959.24 in taxes. That figure is roughly $700 more than the year before. With the annexation, the Town Clerk estimates an increase in revenue of approximately $28,000 based on additional assessed value property of about 1.1 million dollars. As a side note, the Town currently has surplus of $140,000, a figure it points to in order to show its ability to finance needed improvements in the proposed area and a figure objectors point to as largess. The Town has outstanding liabilities of at most $14,000.

 In favor of the Ordinance, the Town offered an expert in urban planning, Clyde Cook, who had studied Taylorsville in depth several years earlier in light of a large annexation attempt, which was settled out. In supporting today's stab at annexation, Cook's first criteria was population growth, combined with remaining developable land. Although there is vacant land within Taylorsville, much of it is subject to flooding, and the rest is ideally suited for residential. Second, Cook looked at the path of growth which he ...


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