Battle could be brewing over Madison’s latest annexation plans

Madison seeking to annex approximately four square miles of property north of its current border.
Madison and Gluckstadt could spar over proposed Madison annexation.
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 4:49 PM CDT
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MADISON CO., Miss. (WLBT) - A battle could be brewing in Madison over the city’s plans to annex approximately 4-square-miles of property north of its current border.

The Madison mayor and board of aldermen recently approved an ordinance extending its northern border to the southern boundaries of the City of Gluckstadt.

In a statement, Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler said the “proposed annexation has always been part of Madison’s path of growth.”

A petition for the annexation still must be filed with the Madison County Chancery Court.

Gluckstadt Mayor Walter Morrison is concerned that if the annexation is allowed to go forward, his city would be limited.

“It’s not in the best interest of a brand-new city to be completely unable to grow,” he said. “I think it’s a bad idea to restrict a brand-new city in that way.”

Gluckstadt was incorporated in 2021. Morrison says his city doesn’t currently have plans to expand but doesn’t rule out that one day it will need to.

“When we went through the incorporation phase, one of the points that the court made was ‘You’re not going to be allowed to grow north because you’re going to cut off Canton’s westward development,’” he said. “I would say that same argument is true today.”

Morrison wasn’t sure of the city’s next steps, and he would still have to speak with the board. He said he also had not reached out to Mayor Butler to discuss Madison’s plans.

District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter represents both areas and says he doesn’t have a problem with the annexation but hopes both sides can work it out.

“The city contacted me a few years back and announced their plans to me, and considering how well Madison’s done so far with their growth, I don’t see a problem with it,” Baxter said. “I think it’s a great idea for the city to annex that property.”

Madison’s last annexation was approved in 2008 when the Mississippi Supreme Court granted the city’s request to take in some 13-square-miles of property west of I-55, the Northside Sun reported.

A copy of the map provided by the city showed that the annexation would take in two swaths of territory.

The city of Madison is planning to annex approximately 4 square miles of property north of its...
The city of Madison is planning to annex approximately 4 square miles of property north of its current city limits.(City of Madison)

One section is located just outside the northwest corner of Madison and includes property bordered by Gluckstadt and Mannsdale roads.

A second larger section runs from east of U.S. Highway 51 to Bozeman Road and from the Gluckstadt city limits in the north to the Madison corporate limits in the south.

Much of that land would be opened up for development with the completion of the Reunion Parkway project, including some 350 acres owned by the Millie J. Bozeman Family Limited Partnership.

That property is located between Bozeman Road and the interstate, and owners are currently asking the Madison County Board of Supervisors to rezone it for commercial use.

The City of Madison has voiced opposition to the request, with an attorney representing the city submitting a letter in opposition to it at Monday’s supervisors meeting.

“The Bozeman Partnership proposes to covert the property to a highway commercial district... Doing so would shift the property away from its current... focus, opening it to permitted uses that include car dealerships, mechanic garages, auto body shops, hotels and motels, and bowling alleys,” the letter states. “Presently, no such commercial uses exist on or within the immediate vicinity of this rural land.”

For his part, Morrison was less concerned with that property and more concerned that Madison’s plans would cut off Gluckstadt’s access to the parkway.

The parkway project includes extending Reunion from Bozeman Road to Parkway East, and then from Parkway East to U.S. 51 via a flyover bridge over I-55.

Reunion Parkway, which already exists from Highway 463 (at Annandale Parkway) to Bozeman Road,...
Reunion Parkway, which already exists from Highway 463 (at Annandale Parkway) to Bozeman Road, would be extended first to Parkway East and then to Highway 51 near Green Oak Lane.

Morrison says he’s open to a compromise with the City of Madison, including having Reunion Parkway serve as a border between the two cities.

“I think the focus should be not on what the land is now, but what the land is going to be when Reunion Parkway is completed,” Morrison said. “That’s what people are looking toward. The potential is this property is going to be developed and it’s not going to be pastureland for long.”

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