Airport land annexation hearing scheduled Jan. 24; two cities want propertyBy ANTHONY WARREN,
The first scheduled hearing in the annexation case involving the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport is slated for January 24.
Two cities, Flowood and Pearl, are attempting to annex land surrounding Jackson-Evers, in what city of Jackson officials call a “tax grab.”
The airport sits on approximately 3,800 acres of land, all of which is owned by the capital city. However, only 1,100 acres is located in the city of Jackson. The rest is located in the unincorporated parts of Rankin County.
Flowood is hoping to take in property east of Jackson-Evers along Airport Road and on the East Metro Parkway to the northwest of the airport proper.
Pearl is seeking to annex property on the south and southwest of the airport, along the East Metro corridor and Old Brandon Road.
The property was opened up for development with the completion of the parkway in 2017, making the land significantly more valuable, Jackson city officials argue.
In all, about 800 acres is located along the East Metro. It was unclear exactly how much land Flowood and Pearl were each attempting to take in.
The Jackson City Council has hired three legal firms to represent them in the case, and the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA) has passed a resolution in opposition of the proposed annexations.
Petitions will be presented in Rankin County Chancery Court and will be heard by Judge Hayden Roberts.
Meanwhile, the state is continuing its attempt to take over Jackson-Evers, and replace JMAA with a new board made up of regional appointees.
That case is being heard in federal District Court for Mississippi’s Southern District.