Maintain status quo for now in annex battle

Ideally, Byram should become a part of Jackson. The high-growth, unincorporated community south of Jackson is in the capital city’s path of growth. Jackson is already providing water and sewer services to the area.

And it would be more cost-efficient for Byram residents to become a part of Jackson than for residents to fund services like police and fire protection from scratch.

Hinds County Chancery Judge Denise Sweet Owens, in her 1993 ruling approving Jackson’s annexation petition, seemed to follow the precedent Jackson and other municipalities established in previous annexation battles.

But when the state Supreme Court overturned Owens and sided with the residents, the dynamics shifted.

Jackson’s best chance to acquire Byram will be to sell the city to the recalcitrant residents, who say they want no part of Jackson’s crime woes and tax burden.

Many say they would rather see Jackson deal with its own problems before assuming additional responsibility.

Jackson may be in a stronger position after Mayor-elect Frank Melton has spent some time in City Hall.

Eric Stringfellow
Clarion Ledger
6/28/5