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Southwind, Windyke annexations delayed by judge

(WMC-TV) - A judge ruled to delay the annexation of the Southwind-Windyke neighborhood. It was set to be annexed December 31, but Judge Walter Evans decided to delay the decision on the grounds that the state has implemented a moratorium on all annexations.

It means the annexation won't happen for another six months and the city could lose five million dollars per year in future property tax revenues.

The annexation would affect about 3,000 people. The people of Southwind have known about the annexation since 2005, but some Southwind-Windyke residents are uncertain about the Memphis annexation.

Resident Megan Wooten said, "I'm not sure. Hopefully, it's a good effect on this neighborhood."

On Friday, the neighborhood association won a victory to stop its annexation.

Chancery Court Judge Walter Evans declared, "The moratorium, in the court's opinion, remains in effect."

Attorney Ricky Wilkins argued the City of Memphis should not be allowed to proceed with the annexation due to an annexation moratorium that went into effect this April.

Wilkins said, "No municipality shall extend its corporate limits by means of annexation."

City Council Attorney Allan Wade said the city planned its budget according to the finalized agreement with Southwind-Windyke and he argued the language in the moratorium is not pertinent to the current case at hand.

"This case was completed seven years and six months ago," said Wade.

The residents feel they had no say in the annexation and see it as a money grab.

Southwind-Windyke is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the Bluff City with million dollar homes owned by local celebrities and the property sales tax collected would boost the city's coffers.

Wade said, "The budget has been adopted. It has significant repercussions."

But, Judge Walter Evans sided with the residents, according to the state's new law.

Judge Evans said, "No municipality shall extend its corporate limits by means of annexation during the moratorium, period."

Southwind-Windyke was supposed to annex into Memphis at midnight on December 31.

The city council attorney indicated there may be an appeal to Friday's ruling.

The people who join the City of Memphis will be paying city taxes and fees. They will also be served by the Memphis Police Department and even receive trash pickup from the city.

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