Texas Gas Transmission Corp. v. City of Greenville

Decision Date07 December 1970
Docket NumberNo. 46181,46181
Citation242 So.2d 686
PartiesTEXAS GAS TRANSMISSION CORP., a Delaware Corp., v. CITY OF GREENVILLE, Miss., a Municipal Corp.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

Heidelberg, Woodliff & Franks, Otis Johnson, Jr., Jackson, J. Hardie Johnston, III, Owensboro, Ky., for appellant.

Guy Kenner Ellis, Jr., Greenville, for appellee.

RODGERS, Justice:

This is an appeal from a decree of the Chancery Court of Washington County, Mississippi, in favor of the appellee, City of Greenville, Mississippi, against the appellant, Texas Gas Transmission Corporation, in which the court upheld an ordinance of the municipality annexing seven distinct areas adjacent to the city limits of Greenville.

The City had passed an ordinance defining seven distinct areas to be annexed to the City and describing in general terms the proposed improvements to be made in the annexed territory and giving the approximate time when it was thought the improvements could be made. Thereafter, the City filed a petition in the chancery court in compliance with the statutory method of annexation: namely, Sections 3374-10-13, Mississippi Code 1942 Annotated (1956). After notice had been given, numerous objections were filed as provided for in Section 3374-12, Mississippi Code 1942 Annotated (1956). All objections were withdrawn except those of the appellant, Texas Gas Transmission Corporation, and the Tennessee Gas Corporation.

When the case came on for hearing on the date fixed by the court, the City of Greenville, in compliance with Section 3374-13, Mississippi Code 1942 Annotated (1956), proceeded to offer evidence 'to show that the proposed enlargement was reasonable.' The City offered the testimony of fourteen witnesses, all of them experts in their respective fields of employment. Forty-seven exhibits were made a part of the record and were explained by the various witnesses. The Texas Gas Transmission Corporation introduced six expert witnesses and also produced voluminous exhibits. Of the seven parcels or areas of land sought to be annexed to the City, the real issue is confined to the objection of the appellant to the annexation of parcels numbers 3, 4 and 5 as outlined and described on Exhibit 20 filed by the City. These parcels are areas located adjacent to the present city limits on the east side. They are north and south of Highway 82. The appellant has four and five pipelines crossing these areas carrying natural gas. Area number five is occupied by appellant's compressor station and also allied buildings, including two houses being used by the families of appellant's employees.

The City offered testimony to show that the expansion of the city limits of Greenville, Mississippi, was necessary; that it is a city of approximately 47,000 people located in an area of 8.27 square miles and the addition sought would only increase the City to the total of 11.45 square miles. This area was then compared with other cities of this state with less population. It is shown that the city limits of Greenville as expanded would be much smaller than other similar Mississippi cities. It is also shown that the City cannot expand westward because the City is adjacent to Lake Ferguson on the west; that City is necessarily expanding away from the Lake and in a northeasterly and southeasterly direction and that this expansion encompasses the disputed areas.

The City also offered evidence to show that the City is now in a position to provide reasonable police and fire protection, garbage removal, maintenance of existing streets, school, recreational facilities and improvements in health and sanitary conditions. The City offered testimony to show the need for regulation of noise and health standards of the objector appellant and that all these improvements could be accomplished within five years.

The objector, Texas Gas Transmission Corporation, offered testimony to show that it did not need and did not want any of the alleged improvements offered by the City. Moreover, the City could not use the property it occupied for expansion since objector was already on the land and had its gas pipes laid across the property. The objector contended that it had lights of its own, although it was connected with the City lights for emergency; that it had its own water well, although it was attached to the City water main only for emergency purposes. The witnesses for appellant testified that its firefighting equipment was superior to the firefighting equipment owned by the City; that it did not need the City sewer system because it had its own septic tank; that the sheriff's office took care of its police needs; and moreover, it would have to pay taxes to the City of Greenville if the City expanded in its direction so as to encompass its land and buildings.

The chancellor, after having heard the evidence and having observed the many exhibits introduced, was of the opinion that the over-all view showed conclusively that there was a pressing necessity for the expansion of the city limits of Greenville, Mississippi; that the City growth was moving northeast and southeast; that land areas designated as 3, 4 and 5 were in the path of the City growth. The court expressly held that:

It appears to this court that if the proposed areas of annexation nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 are not taken in (the city) and especially as to area no. 5, the City of Greenville will have, as it in truth and in fact now has, a hole in a doughtnut insofar as its expansion (is concerned)

Whereupon, the court held that the annexation of the areas in dispute designated in the ordinance was reasonable.

On appeal to this Court, the appellant objector contends (1) that the ordinance is wholly unreasonable insofar as it includes areas 3 and 5; (2) that the ordinance is unreasonable because it takes from appellant benefits by being located out of the City and will put upon appellant burdens without compensation; (3) that the City does not need appellant's land to promote the development of the City; (4) the appellant will not share benefits in common with other inhabitants; (5) that the annexation of the corporate property of appellant would constitute the taking of appellant's property for public use without compensation; (6) that the decree is contrary to law and against the overwhelming weight of the evidence; (7) that the court should have excluded the areas 3 and 5 and all of 4 except a strip near Highway 82.

Although there are many errors assigned, the main thrust of appellant's argument on appeal is based on four primary objections. They are: (1) the appellant does not need the facilities offered by the City because it has its own lights, water well and septic tank; (2) the City does not need the land occupied by the appellant for future development of the City because it is not susceptible of development since it is already occupied by the defendant and the City is not growing in the direction of the appellant's property; (3) the appellant will have to pay taxes, and since it already has the facilities offered by the City, to incorporate its property will be tantamount to the taking of private property for public use without due compensation in violation of its constitutional rights; (4) finally, the decree of the court is against the...

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  • Extension of Boundaries of City of Jackson, Matter of, 58267
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    • May 31, 1989
    ...and social) benefits of proximity to the municipality without paying their fair share of taxes, Texas Gas Transmission Corp. v. City of Greenville, 242 So.2d 686, 689 (Miss.1971); Forbes v. Mayor & Board of Aldermen of City of Meridian, 86 Miss. 243, 38 So. 676 (1905); and (12) any other fa......
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    ...city's proposed annexation is unreasonable. See Miss.Code Ann. § 21–1–33 (2007). As the court stated in Texas Gas Transmission Corp. v. City of Greenville, 242 So.2d 686, 690 (Miss.1970) :“The argument that appellant will not receive benefits commensurate to its increased tax burden is not ......
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    ...and social) benefits of proximity to the municipality without paying their fair share of the taxes, Texas Gas Transmission Corp. v. City of Greenville, 242 So.2d 686, 689 (Miss.1971); Forbes v. Mayor & Board of Alderman of City of Meridian, 86 Miss. 243, 38 So. 676 (1905); and (12) any othe......
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