Westover to hold public meeting to discuss possible annexation into Chelsea

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 8:59 PM CDT
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WESTOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - The cities around Chelsea are weighing the benefits of annexing into the city as leaders move forward with exploring starting its own school district.

“They’re going to have to come up with some really good things to make us want to go,” said Glen Bates.

Glen Bates has lived in The Narrows for 17 years. It’s unincorporated Shelby County and sits right outside Chelsea city limits. It’s also one of several communities Chelsea hopes will join the city as it looks ahead to create its own school district.

The Chelsea city council voted in mid-June to move forward with a feasibility study to determine if the city can support its own system. The study group would consider projected residential growth and the cost to operate schools. One plan the group will present includes the outlook for a school district only including students who already live in Chelsea. The other plan includes an outlook for the district if neighboring communities like The Narrows, Highland Lakes, Dunnavant Valley Corridor, and the town of Westover are annexed in.

Bates says many of the neighbors he’s spoken to are concerned about change including changes in where their child may attend school and how much it would cost them to continue to live in their home.

“Waiting with baited breath to see,” said Bates. “Haven’t talked about how things will change, how tax rates will change, amenities.”

The mayor of Westover says the town’s next steps depend on the outcome of that study that should be ready by mid-October.

In the meantime, he’s holding a public forum for the community to give input on what they want for Westover....and how they feel about the future.

“We want our kids to have access to the best quality of education they can in this area of the world,” said Mayor Riggins. “But there will be an increase in taxes.”

Chelsea can’t force communities to annex into the city - it would involve votes by neighboring communities to join the city.

The public meeting for people who live in the town of Westover is July 13 at 6:30 p.m. at New Life Assembly Church.

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