R’ville incorporation move takes next step

A group of 30-40 people who attended a Jan. 15 meeting in Robinsonville voted to pursue incorporation of a large portion of North Tunica County, according to one attendee.
Lesa Lesure said that the proposed incorporators have directed their attorney to draw up a petition to put before voters. This petition must garner signatures from two-thirds of the registered voters in the designated district.

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Lesure said the proposed district begins at Dunn Road on the north end, crosses Highway 61 and proceeds south on Kirby Road, then east on Counce Road to take in the Orchards subdivision, then south to Hambrick Road, taking in the Hambirck subdivision. The boundary follows 61 north to Bowdre Rd., turns west to Old 61 and then crosses an open field to take in the North fire station/sheriff’s substation and WIN Job Center complex. The west boundary then follows Fitzgeralds Boulevard, then east to Old 61, north to Clack Road and back to Dunn Rd.
The proposed district would apparently include the Hwy. 61 corridor from the Clack Rd. intersection south to Hambrick Rd., CVB offices, the outlet mall, Tunica National Golf & Tennis Center, the Robinsonville community and a number of apartment complexes north of Robinsonville, Tunica National Properties, Kirby Estates, Alpha Creek Subdivision, and several strip malls in the area.
Temporary officers for the proposed municipality were also appointed at the meeting, Lesure said. James Dunn was selected as at large mayor; aldermen are Marilyn Young, Oscar Price, Robert Hall, Earl Hendricks, and Lesa Lesure. Shelia McKay was named at large police chief, and Sherwonda Dunn, city clerk.
Reached by phone on January 25, Dunn said he had no comment “at this time.” Dunn is the current county supervisor for District 1, which includes the proposed municipality.
The Jan. 15 meeting was advertised in this newspaper in December 2010, calling for a discussion about “the incorporation of the City of Robinsonville, and for the appointment of temporary officers.”
According to state law, the next step toward incorporation is filing a petition in the chancery court in Tunica County. The petition must contain a map and legal description of district boundaries; the proposed corporate name; signatures of at least two-thirds of electors; the number of inhabitants in the district; the assessed valuation of property within the district boundaries; the aims of the petitioners, what services the municipality proposes to offer, and the reasons why “the public convenience and necessity” would be served by incorporating; and the names of appointed officers of the proposed municipality.
Chancery Court Clerk Susie White said this week that no petition has been filed thus far.
When received in Chancery Court, a petition to incorporate is placed on the court docket. The chancellor of the court then sets a public hearing date that must be published in a newspaper and posted in three or more public places in the territory.
After the public hearing, the chancellor hears the petition and any objections and renders a decision. Any appeal to the decision in Chancery Court must be filed with the Supreme Court within 10 days.
In state law, cities are defined as having 2000 or more inhabitants; towns have less than 2000 and more than 300. Any community with less than 300 inhabitants and more than 100 is defined as a village. Only cities and towns can incorporate.
Municipalities provide for the health, safety and welfare of residents by providing police and fire protection, water and sewer services, adequate roads, animal control and a variety of other services and by administering these and other functions of the municipality.
A municipality’s Income is generally derived from property taxes, sales taxes and taxes and fees on utilities.
At present, Tunica County is providing fire, police and utility services in the Robinsonville area.
The 2000 census reported a population of 9,227 for all of Tunica County. It is widely believed that North Tunica County has experienced population growth since 2000, although 2010 census figures have not been released.
In county elections in 2007, 568 voters cast ballots for county supervisor in District 1. About 2500 people voted county-wide.

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