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Officials discussing de-annexation for parts of the city

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Patricia Possel had just one word to describe her time as a Memphis resident.

"A nightmare."

Possell said she and her South Cordova neighbors lived in what was then unincorporated Shelby County for years with no problems, then one day they were annexed.

"We feel like we`ve been materially harmed because police services are so poor."

There is a study for seven areas, including South Cordova, for possible de-annexation. They're mostly sparsely populated areas of Frayser, Raleigh, Eads, and then bigger blocks of Cordova and the Southwind-Windyke neighborhood.

"Our density is a real problem in the city of Memphis. We certainly don`t have dense populations, which is the best way to provide value-added services," said Brian Stephens with Caissa Public Strategy.

In the last five decades, the number of people living in each square mile of the Memphis city limits has plunged more than 50 percent as the city's swallowed up more land with fewer people.

Stephens said de-annexing these areas would help with that, but City Council member Patrice Robinson isn't convinced.

"There`s still something very glaring that we don`t know yet and one is what will it cost the citizens of Memphis?"

The city said it would lose about one point one percent of its revenue, but Robinson said that's no the total cost.

"Did we do any infrastructure changes in the area that cost money? Anything we may have spent where we had to purchase bonds?"

The city said it's still in the study phase, saying "once the task force reviews both the data and the citizen feedback, they may make a recommendation that City Council consider de-annexing these exact areas, or a variation of the areas offered."

The council could then vote on the issue or send it to voters with a referendum.