GLUCKSTADT, Miss. (WJTV) – Madison County will get a new city after a Mississippi Supreme Court ruling. After four years of legal battles with other municipalities and the county, Gluckstadt can move another step closer to officially becoming a city after the court upheld a Chancery Court’s ruling in Gluckstadt’s favor.
Up against the City of Canton and landowner Ron Hutchinson, more than 1,100 people of Gluckstadt signed the official petition to begin this legal fight in 2017. They were represented by Attorney John Scanlon.
“There were a lot of citizens who came and testified on behalf of the incorporators whose testimony show that they wanted to control their own destiny,” Scanlon said.
At the heart of this legal battle was 10.8 square miles of land already evolving into a heavily populated area with homes and businesses.
“Gluckstadt has a lot of county land that is still yet to be developed,” Dewey McCardle, a businessman of Gluckstadt stated. “And I just feel like in the future with the growth in people that are moving here, I just feel having our own city is a lot more beneficial than being taken over by the City of Canton.”
“You require municipal level police protection,” Scanlon added. “They’re already served by what is essentially a municipal level fire department. You need municipal level planning and zoning.”
In the end, Canton was awarded annexation in two areas North and South of the city while Gluckstadt received three; a move likely to come with new municipal level taxes but most believed it was a good investment.
“One positive thing we could use from the higher taxes is putting it into our education system, and putting it into that Madison County thing we have,” McCardle said.
“Road work infrastructure needs to be done around here,” Ruston Cado of Gluckstadt said. “If it’s put in the right places, then it would be beneficial.”
Representatives for the City of Canton still have time to request a rehearing to the Mississippi Supreme Court. If not, the Mississippi Secretary of State will need to sign off on the final approvals by the end of the summer for the Mayor and Board of Alderman to take leadership.
All schools within the new Gluckstadt city limits will remain under the Madison County School District. Water and sewer services will also remain under the county. This incorporation was also supported by Sheriff Randy Tucker who testified for it to be approved.