Deal Makes Byram a City, Enlarges Jackson

Published: Oct. 10, 2006 at 1:30 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2006 at 1:10 PM CDT
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By Roslyn Anderson

Jackson city council president Ben Allen opened the weekly work session announcing that Hinds County Chancery Judge William Singletary had made a decision in the long-running annexation fight between Jackson and the town of Byram.

Jackson lawyer Jim Carroll said the judge would allow Byram to incorporate less than 20 square miles and annex approximately 15 square miles.

Jackson will be allowed to annex approximately four miles and preserve paths of growth to the north, northwest, west and south.

Attorney Chad Mask is on Jackson's legal team.

"This decision grants the city of Jackson some very important residential territory down there," Mask said. "(It) leaves Jackson a remaining path of growth along the Springridge Road corridor, the future Clinton-Byram Parkway."

Jackson will annex areas including Brookhollow, the Brookwood Country Club, the Brookleigh and Torrey Pines Subdivisions.

Jerry Mills, the attorney representing residents opposed to Byram annexation, said he had not reviewed any documentation but was pleased the judge granted incorporation although the annexed area was reduced.

To remain unincorportated are the Jackson-owned Greater Jackson Industrial Park and the proposed Byram-Clinton Parkway.

"I think it's fair to Byram," Allen said. "We never had a problem with Byram incorporating. We had a problem with losing the entire growth pattern in the parkway. Another part of that is the Jackson Industrial Park. Jackson feels like we should have gotten that. The judge didn't agree with that."

"The new residents will have my commitment that we're going to do everything that we can to make sure they have a safe and secure environment with good schools, with good streets and good infrastructure," said Jackson Mayor Frank Melton.

Both sides spoke with Judge Singletary Monday morning and await his formal written opinion. If the settlement decision is appealed, it will then go to the Mississippi Supreme Court.