At Thursday's meeting of the Mobile City Council, the Stimpson administration made a last minute push to get a divided council to approve the annexation election.

The administration prepared a report it gave to city council members in an effort to correct what it called "misinformation" about the proposal.

The three areas proposed for annexation are the Schillinger Road-Cottage Hill Road Corridor, Snow Road-Airport Road Corridor, and Kings Branch.

Proposed Areas 11x17-1.png

The mayor wasn't at the council meeting, but Public Safety Director James Barber said the report has certified numbers from the U.S. Department of Justice on law enforcement grants.

Barber said annexing the areas would allow the city population to rise above the 200,000 level and move it to a category with almost twice as much eligibility to get grants.

He said there would be an opportunity for the City of Mobile to get an extra $8.5 million over three years for officers and equipment.

Barber said, "Instead of hiring 15 officers a year that are paid for by the federal government, we'd be able to hire 30 officers a year by the federal government and, then, over the next three years, there could be an additional 45 police officers placed under the federal government program."

Barber said there's no guarantee the city would get the grants, and Mobile would be competing against bigger cities:  San Francisco instead of Dothan.

But based on the city's success with getting grants in the past, he's optimistic.

Did the report help council members form opinions?

City Council President Levon Manzie said, "I probably, as a result of this information, have come up with 20 more questions."

Manzie is widely believed to be the swing vote.

He said, "The majority of the citizens who live in the district in which I represent have indicated to me that they do not support this annexation.  And, so, in light of that, I'm still listening, I'm still taking in all comments, all perspectives.  I'm getting a bunch of e mails."

The administration has said a vote needs to be taken next Tuesday to be eligible for the next U.S. Census count.

Barber said if the council approves the elections, they could be held in each of three areas the first or second week of December.

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