New Olive Branch annexation bill proposed

New Olive Branch annexation bill proposed

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Mid-South representative is proposing a Desoto County annexation legislation that would add several areas, like Lewisburg and Pleasant Hill, into the Olive Branch city limits.

State lawmakers filed a statewide bill that would make it harder to annex an area and filed another one that died in committee.

Now, lawmakers have drafted a plan for another bill.

"We were super disappointed to hear that House Bill 1051 did not make it out of committee," Fight4DeSoto organizer Mark Dickey said.

Dickey is among 14,000 people who live in two areas that the City of Olive Branch wants to annex.

"The bill failing was a blow to us because this was not only for DeSoto County, but it was really good for the whole state," Dickey said.

Though the bill didn't make it far this legislative session, State Representative Robert Foster said he is planning to file a local private bill with similar language. It would also only apply to DeSoto County residents.

"It would allow people being annexed to get signatures to have a referendum, a certain percentage of the people would have to collect signatures and there would be a vote and a certain percentage would have to vote to be annexed in order for annexation," Foster said.

Foster said he is working with other DeSoto County lawmakers to work out logistics of the bill. Meanwhile, he said a group of citizens who oppose the annexation will continue to “Fight For DeSoto.”

"We want to receive the right to vote. We feel like we're disenfranchised voters because we're being left out of the process," Dickey said.

Olive Branch officials claim the areas being annexed are in the city’s path of growth and that this has been in the plan for 20 years.

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