The Indianola Mayor and Board of Aldermen were able to give some input on the annexation study last week that is being conducted by an Oxford planning and development firm.
Mike Slaughter, of Slaughter & Associates, presented some preliminary boundaries for the annexation study for the board to mull over.
The board did take action by approving the widening of the annexation study area and comprehensive plan for the city.
The firm was hired last summer to conduct the study, which focuses on growth for the city on its east and west corridors along U.S. 82.
“We’re looking for Indianola to grow on our east and west boundaries,” Mayor Steve Rosenthal said during the input session.
Slaughter reminded the board that they were just in the study phase, and there was no need for the board to take any action.
“Right now, we’re doing an annexation study,” Slaughter said. “The City of Indianola is not annexing one square inch until we complete this study, you make a decision and you have a vote of this board is it official that you are annexing anything. You have to adopt an annexation order.”
Ward 1 Alderman Gary Fratesi gave lengthy input about the boundaries, which he said seemed to zig zag on the map.
“Instead of drawing crazy lines, let’s just square it up,” Fratesi said, noting several areas that were not evenly drawn. “I would like to keep it square. Let’s put it all in.”
Slaughter explained that he had based his drawing off aerial photos and was basing it off parcel lines and was trying not to split parcels of land.
Rosenthal reminded the board that annexation will mean taking on county infrastructure.
“You have to realize you’re taking in county roads that are in bad shape, and they become ours,” Rosenthal said.
Slaughter took note of all of the board’s suggestions.
“This is the type of input I wanted,” Slaughter said. “The last thing I wanted was to get halfway through it and you say ‘why didn’t we include this?’ That’s the reason I’m here.”