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Mobile now Alabama’s second-largest city after annexation vote succeeds

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson is greeted by supporters at Kraver’s on Leroy Stevens Road Tuesday night after three of four areas voted to be annexed into the city. (Arthur L. Mack/Call News)



Three of four areas targeted for annexation by the City of Mobile voted on Tuesday to become part of what is now Alabama’s second-largest city.

The Cottage Hill Corridor, King’s Branch and Orchard Estates areas voted to be annexed while the Airport Boulevard area voted  against joining the city.

As a result, Mobile will have a population of 204,689, trailing only Huntsville and moving ahead of Birmingham.

“This is an exciting night for the future of Mobile and I want to thank all the residents in the King’s Branch, Orchard Estates and Cottage Hill Corridor,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “We are excited about the opportunity to serve you and we thank you for the trust you put in us to become part of our city and welcome you as Mobilians. It sets up the city for success, as well as the entire region.”

Stimpson said he knew it would be challenging to get the Airport Corridor to approve of annexation.

“They’re celebrating like we are,” he said. “They don’t have to come into the city of Mobile and that’s their choice.”

The preliminary totals were:

Orchard Branch

  • Yes 36.

  • No 25.

King’s Branch

  • Yes 295.

  • No 235.

Cottage Hill Corridor

  • Yes 1,933.

  • No 1,166.

Airport Corridor

  • No 863.

  • Yes 431.

The results must be officially verified by the Mobile County Probate Court.

Stimpson thanked community leaders and the Mobile City Council, which voted unanimously last month to approve the annexation maps and give residents in the targeted areas the opportunity to vote. He said the annexation effort would not have happened without the efforts of chief of staff James Barber.

“I’m very pleased what the outcome was,” Barber said. “The most important area was the Cottage Hill Corridor, where people voted overwhelmingly to come into the city. I think when people are faced with change, they tend to go with the status quo and you have to be able to explain why it’s in their best interest to join the city and what the risks are for not doing it.”

Some services, such as EMT, will begin almost immediately while others, such as trash pickup, will begin as soon as possible. Police patrols will be established as soon as police chief Paul Prine gives the nod.

“From a patrol standpoint, we’ll have to wait until the election is certified by probate court,” Stimpson said.

Annexation proponent Del Sawyer was happy the Cottage Hill Corridor voted to come in.

“I was very hopeful we would have four out of four but I’m mostly proud of Cottage Hill, where I live,” he said. “King’s Branch and Orchard coming in was very special because those people needed a lift and a place to call home.”

Although population will continue to shrink in the city’s core, Stimpson said Mobile’s population has been moving westward for a long time and added it’s likely more areas will want to be annexed, citing an area south of Cottage Hill Road.

“Property outside of the city is cheaper than inside the city,” he said. “This is a good opportunity for future administrations and we won’t be walled off from other municipalities like Birmingham.”

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