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Annexation trial date set for August 2013

Published: 10:24 AM, 11/16/2012 Last updated: 10:30 AM, 11/16/2012

Source: The Rogersville Review

By Bill Grubb
News Editor

ROGERSVILLE - An August 2013 court date has been set for an annexation lawsuit that has been in Hawkins County Chancery Court since March 2007.
    The legal action pits a group of county residents located west of the current city limits against the city of Rogersville.
    In November 2006 the Rogersville Board of Mayor and Aldermen gave final approval to an ordinance that would extend the city limits westward approximately 1.2 miles.  The annexation area included the Price's Heights, Western Heights, Morgan Estates, Cedar Crest, Brooks Landing and Timberlake subdivisions, as well as vacant land on the north and south sides of Highway 11W.
    Although a lawsuit was filed in December of that year by Knoxville attorney David L. Buuck challenging the annexation.  The city began the ordinance adoption process again in January 2007 by adopting an amended annexation ordinance and plan of services to address what City Attorney Bill Phillips described as "technical issues" that were cited in the court documents.
    A second lawsuit challenging the reasonableness of the annexation was filed in March 2007 and the following month the city filed a response arguing the annexation "is reasonable for the overall well-being" of the residents as well as seeking a dismissal of the litigation.
    "It all boils down to the fact that we didn't ask to be annexed and we don't want to be annexed," Don Dimmick, one of the property owners challenging Rogersville's actions, explained in an earlier interview.
    In 2011, the local lawsuit was put on hold pending the final outcome of a appeal to a similar lawsuit involving an annexation by the city of Newport.
    "The Tennessee Supreme Court has decided there was nothing to that case and the Newport annexation went through," Phillips explained, adding that he does not see any legal basis for the Rogersville suit.

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