• 70°

Frye expresses concerns about Slaughter, annexation

While the Friday’s Lafayette County Board of Supervisors meeting was centered on the Comprehensive Plan, talk also moved toward annexation.

In particular, Slaughter & Associates being retained by the city of Oxford in their pursuit of annexing portions of the county and how that might conflict with Mike Slaughter developing a comprehensive plan for the county if the county decides to fight the annexation in court.

“I know that you are perfectly well-qualified, but I have concerns with differences with the county and city and how they play out in the long term,” Supervisor Kevin Frye said. “What if the county decides this annexation is not in our best interest? Whose side are you going to be on?”

Frye is concerned that the county will be losing revenue if portions of the county are annexed.

County Attorney David O’Donnell pointed out the county has never fought an annexation case. Supervisor Mike Roberts noted that residents in the city of Oxford are also county residents and the cost of fire protection, law enforcement and other services would no longer be a cost to the county since the city would be required to provide such services.

Slaughter pointed out Oxford is far from going forward with annexation and is just in the preliminary stages and that those folks if they were annexed would have much better fire protection, lower insurance premiums than what the county could provide, while volunteer firefighters would not be spread as thin in their response time since they would have a smaller area to cover.

“I’ve been working in annexation and planning for 25 years,” Slaughter said. “Some counties have objected, but a majority of the counties do not object. The county will still get their ad valorem tax when tax day rolls around.”

Slaughter is one of two firms vying for the right to develop a Comprehensive Plan. Slaughter submitted a bid of $60,000 and for an additional $10,000 to $20,000 would develop a zoning ordinance for the county if supervisors decided to pursue the creation of zoning. The other firm in the running for the bid is A2H, which has submitted a base bid totaling $137,000.