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City of Mobile set to vote on annexation referendum

City of Mobile

Today (July 18) residents in four areas of West Mobile will be able to vote on whether to officially become part of the City of Mobile. The areas looking at annexation include Airport Corridor, Cottage Hill Corridor, Kings Branch and Orchard Estates. The Mobile City Council unanimously approved the annexation plan on May 9.

The election is from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at four different polling locations: Baker High School, Creekwood Church of Christ, Jon Archer Agricultural Center and Word in Season Ministries. In order to vote, residents must have moved into one of the four proposed annexation areas no later than April 18 this year.

To help answer questions and share information about the upcoming election, the City of Mobile has created an informational webpage and a few new public tools.

One of the biggest questions on the website is "What do I get if I join the City of Mobile?" Here's a breakdown of how the city answered:

A Voice in Your City Government:

  • Every resident in the proposed annexation area is already contributing sales tax dollars to the City of Mobile. However, they have no say in the election of the mayor or the members of the Mobile City Council that allocate those dollars. By joining Mobile, west Mobile residents will be able to vote in future mayoral and city council elections — ending taxation without representation.

Guaranteed Future Police and Fire Protection:

  • The Mobile Police Department is a regional law enforcement leader and benefits from unparalleled corporation with state and federal partners. The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department has an ISO-1 rating that saves residents money on their homeowners insurance. While residents in the proposed annexation areas receive police and fire protection from the City of Mobile, these services could be rolled back by future administrations at any time. That would leave police protection in these areas up to the Mobile County Sheriff's Office and fire protection to volunteer fire departments not equipped to provide service in the highly developed areas in much of the jurisdiction. In some neighborhoods, a rollback of those city services would leave residents with no fire protection at all.
  • As recently as April, cities like Saraland have elected to stop providing public safety services in their police jurisdictions, and some state lawmakers are working to do away with police jurisdictions all together. Joining the City of Mobile would ensure that the existing services offered by the Mobile Police Department and the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department are never taken away from those residents.

World-Class Emergency Medical Services:

  • Currently, residents in the proposed annexation area depend on private ambulance companies to provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department's EMS service has the fastest response times, the best-trained staff and the most state-of-art equipment in the region and is one of only four nationally accredited EMS services in Alabama. There are at least two qualified paramedics on every service call. By joining Mobile, residents would be covered by this world-class EMS service.
  • As of May 3, 2023, the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department is the only fire department in the state of Alabama accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services. This designation for the City of Mobile’s EMS service puts MFRD among the Top 1% of fire departments in the United States.

Free Curbside Trash and Garbage Collection:

  • Despite paying taxes to the City of Mobile, residents in unincorporated neighborhoods do not receive the garbage or trash collection services that residents in the city limits do. They also cannot use the city's recycling service, which doesn’t require self-sorting of recyclables that are dropped off.
  • By joining Mobile, residents in the annexation areas will receive free weekly household garbage service and free large trash/debris collection (tree limbs, tree/yard debris, discarded furniture, etc.) twice every month. Mobile is the only municipality in the region that does not charge trash and garbage collection fees. You can find the City of Mobile’s complete trash and garbage rules by clicking here.

Dedicated Access to Infrastructure and Capital Improvement Funds: 

  • In addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in citywide funding, the City of Mobile's CIP program allocates millions of dollars every year to improve roads, parks, and infrastructure in all seven city council districts. These dollars fund park upgrades, new sidewalks, road resurfacing projects, and numerous other projects prioritized by each city council member.
  • Residents in the police jurisdiction do not receive funding from the City of Mobile that could improve their neighborhoods, despite contributing to the sales taxes that go into the CIP program. As residents of Mobile, they would have a city council member tasked with allocating millions in CIP funding in their district annually. As constituents, they would also have a voice in how those dollars could best benefit their neighborhoods.

Zoning Protections to Protect Property Values:

  • In the City of Mobile, a municipal zoning ordinance helps protect residential areas and neighborhoods from industrial encroachment and overdevelopment. There are no such zoning protections in the annexation areas, which means businesses can pop up in predominantly residential areas without having to adopt any standards that minimize the impact on neighborhoods or match the character of the community.
  • By joining the City of Mobile, residents would gain zoning protections on new developments in their neighborhoods. Those residents would also have a voice in shaping future zoning protections through their elected City Council member.

A Stronger City and a stronger region:

  • Without annexing to the West, Mobile runs a significant risk of becoming landlocked by surrounding municipalities, similar to what other cities like Birmingham have experienced. That would pull revenue from the City of Mobile and cause a reduction in local public services. Central cities like Mobile are often regional economic drivers, and their financial health impacts neighboring communities. If Mobile becomes unable to grow, its decline would have impacts felt throughout the entire region.
  • The City of Mobile currently has 199 active projects that will invest more than $530 million across the City of Mobile over the next several years. With all these investments in infrastructure, a balanced budget, and more than $150 million in surplus, the City of Mobile has created an attractive environment for businesses to locate and grow, as evidenced by the thousands of new jobs that companies in Mobile will be adding over the next three years. By joining Mobile and helping us become the second-largest city in the State of Alabama, residents in the annexation area will benefit from increased public services, Mobile's continued economic momentum, and future development.

Visit to find more on the answers to frequently asked questions about the City of Mobile’s services and tax rates.

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