PHENIX CITY, Ala (WRBL)-Property annexations dating back almost 30 years sparked a war between Phenix City and Russell County that spilled into the courtroom. And now, Alabama’s Supreme Court has ruled in Phenix City’s favor.
Phenix City’s attorney offered an update on what the court’s ruling means at today’s city council meeting. The case went to the high court after a Dothan trial judge sided with Phenix City. Phenix City started annexations of the 52 properties in dispute as early as 1991.
The legal battle intensified after the explosive growth along Highway 80.
Phenix City said annexation was its only option. It needed tax revenue to fund services such as police, fire, and sewer. Now, after years of the back-and-forth-legal battle, the city hopes the county commission will work with them to end the lawsuit for good.
“What the city would really like for the county commissioner to do is to go back and reconsider their position and all of the lawsuits and try to work with the city,” says Phenix City’s Litigation Attorney Jim McKoon.
“We have wasted enough of the taxpayers money. In fact, we have spent over $190,000 and right now we have not accomplished anything. So I am not in favor of spending any more of the taxpayers’ money on lawsuits and litigations,” says Russell Co. District 4 Commissioner Ronnie Reed.
Two other lawsuits between the city and county are pending. One involves the city’s contracted use of the county’s jail. The other involves the gas tax.
Phenix City say it provides a million gallons of water a day to Russell County.
We attempted to contact Russell County’s attorney for comment, but he was out-of-town.