The vote to approve Spanish Fort’s plan to annex 30 parcels of land through a local referendum on Tuesday is separated by just one vote, with 17 provisional ballots still to be counted. According to Mayor Mike McMillan, 322 residents turned out to vote on Tuesday, with 22 additional absentee and provisional ballots bringing the total to 344 voters.
At 8 p.m. tonight, McMillan said the vote was “about as close as you can get” throughout the day, with a 161-161 tie before provisional and absentee ballots were counted. When an additional five absentee ballots were tallied, Tuesday’s final vote count was 164 against annexation to 163 in favor of it.
McMillan said an additional 17 provisional ballots, which should ultimately decide the fate of the annexation plan, will be counted at the Baldwin County Probate office on Nov. 10.
The city’s proposal would affect approximately 750 rooftops, or an estimated 1,700-1,800 residents, bringing in unincorporated rural areas north of the city as well as residents on Stagecoach Road and on the north side of Spanish Fort Estates, as well as Rayne Plantation, Grace Magnolias, Cambron and Old Highway 31.
While citizens who come into the city through annexation will be afforded police and zoning protections from the city, they will also pay the city’s 5 mill property tax. The city spent approximately $10,000 on the election.