MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Neighbors in Southwind and Windyke are gearing up for one last battle with the city of Memphis over annexation. An appeals court ruling this week gives the go-ahead for Memphis to begin the process of making them city residents.
Southwind residents were supposed to be annexed at the end of last year but they got a restraining order from a local judge to keep that from happening. Now that restraining order is null and void because a Tennesee Appeals Court overturned the restraining order.
Southwind neighbors are still fighting to keep their independence from the city of Memphis on this Fourth of July. It’s a fight that started in the early ’90s.
“We have no comment at this time and we refer you to our attorney Mr. Wilkins,” said the man who identified himself as the Southwind Homeowner’s Association President.
He said he’s leaving comments up to their lawyer. However, residents not part of the official board are talking, especially those who live in Windyke, the other neighborhood tied to this annexation.
“No, we are not tired of fighting. We’re going to fight as long as we have to,” said Donald Garner, a Windyke homeowner.
Homeowners say there’s nothing Memphis has they want or need.
“Nobody out here needs any services from the city of Memphis. We have everything. Sheriff’s department. Garbage collection. What can they offer? Street lights,” said Rick Denson, another Windyke homeowner.
The city’s attorney, Allan Wade, says he’s pleased with the court’s decision and the city is studying its next step. The next step might be back into court since the two neighborhoods can make one last appeal to the state supreme court.
“You’ve got more taxes. More taxation. The taxes that they get now, they’re not properly used to start with. All they want is more money,” said Garner.
The residents have 60 days to appeal. If not, those street lights and green garbage cans that belong to the city will likely begin arriving in their neighborhoods soon after.
The lawyer representing the neighborhood association, Attorney Ricky Wilkins, is also running for U.S. Congress. WREG reached out to Wilkins for a comment but hasn’t heard anything yet.