Special Report: What’s Next for the City of Gluckstadt?
Which neighborhoods are included? What changes are coming?
GLUCKSTADT, Miss. (WLBT) - The new mayor and aldermen for the City of Gluckstadt have a lot of work to do, and incorporation has been a long time coming.
Martha D’Amico remembers going door-to-door with her sister twenty years ago, seeking signatures on a petition for incorporation. She had no idea it would take two decades to become reality, but she is pleased that it has now happened.
“There are so many people moving to this area, so for them to have the opportunity to be a part of a municipality with all the privileges that come there, I think that’s exciting,” she says.
But what will be different?
Walter Morrison, the attorney chosen to serve as the city’s first mayor, says zoning will be a top initial priority so he and the board of aldermen can get control of what can be built and where in the growing area.
“It would be my hope that we would be able to pretty promptly put in place our own zoning mechanism so that businesses and residents who want to come into the city can come before the proper zoning officials there and deal with whatever zoning issues exist,” he says.
Until the city can set up its own police department, Madison County sheriff’s deputies will continue patrolling. The city won’t automatically get its own post office, so mailing addresses will remain the same. The United States Postal Service could change that in the future.
The city limits include obvious areas like the commercial corridor along Gluckstadt Road on both sides of Interstate 55.
To the east, the new city extends to Highway 51, plus a short stretch of Yandell Road, including the Bear Creek and Bradshaw Ridge subdivisions, along with Madison Crossing Elementary School. But that’s where it stops. An earlier, unsuccessful incorporation effort extended farther east and included the Deerfield subdivision.
On the west side of I-55, the city limits extend to just past Catlett Road, including the Red Oak Plantation, Arrington, Ridgefield and First Colony subdivisions.
North of there, Germantown middle and high schools are included, but incorporation will have no effect on school-district lines. The nearby Mac Haik dealerships and surrounding businesses, and the Germantown subdivision, are also included.
The more recently developed Stillhouse Creek, Grayhawk, Wellington, Timber Ridge and Northwind neighborhoods are not in Gluckstadt. That’s due, in part, to the incorporators’ effort to get enough signatures to win their case in court. They were required to get a minimum percentage of signatures from each area, but that proved difficult as more people continued to move into developing neighborhoods.
“What we tried to focus on was not biting off more than we could chew,” the mayor says, adding that more neighborhoods could be annexed in the future, should there be community support.
Martha D’Amico wouldn’t mind that at all. A few years back, she and her husband moved to Lake Caroline. Their current home sits beyond the new city limits, so now that her dream of creating a new city has been realized, she is not in it.
“I think Lake Caroline’s a big question mark,” she says. She wouldn’t mind being annexed into Gluckstadt in the future, and she says there is some interest among her neighbors as well.
Mayor Morrison says he and the aldermen are committed to 12 mills as the city’s initial tax rate, which he says is a fraction of what residents of surrounding cities pay. But revenue will start coming in even before that, because Gluckstadt now qualifies for the state sales-tax diversion. That’s when the state returns to a city a portion of the sales tax collected within its corporate limits.
Now the new city’s new government, with input from the people, will decide how to spend it.
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