CANTON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Madison County Board of Supervisors voted Monday night to approve the City of Canton’s request to be de-annexed from the Gluckstadt Fire Department’s coverage area.
A portion of the Canton city limits dip south into the South Madison County Fire Protection District (SMCFPD) west of Interstate 55, and Gluckstadt firefighters have had jurisdiction there for many years. State law says fire protection district lines can be altered only by county supervisors.
Attorney John Scanlon, representing the SMCFPD, argued in favor of maintaining the current arrangement, which was established years before Canton’s corporate limits extended into the SMCFPD’s jurisdiction.
Property owners in the SMCFPD pay taxes for its services, but Scanlon said it amounts to less than $50 annually for most. He said one of the biggest taxpayers in the affected area, a business owner paying more than $1,500 annually, wished to keep paying the additional tax to receive the SMCFPD’s services.
A majority of the supervisors, however, voted to approve Canton’s request to serve the area. Only one supervisor, Trey Baxter, voted against it.
Canton Mayor William Truly told the board that despite what previous mayors or fire chiefs may have wanted, he and his current chief intend to provide fire-protection services to all areas of the city, including those that lie in the current SMCFPD.
The area in question was added to Canton’s footprint through annexations in the 2000s, in anticipation of the Neu Markt development proposed at the Sowell Road interchange. That development has never moved forward, but there are new signs of commercial activity in the area.
The de-annexed area does not include the Germantown schools or anything south of Church Road. Those areas are not within the Canton city limits and are still served by the SMCFPD.
The supervisors’ vote means Gluckstadt firefighters will now serve in a secondary or back-up role to Canton firefighters in the de-annexed area.