On the heels of slaughterhouse talk, Pembroke wants to expand its footprint

Mayor Judy Peterson and the city's four commissioners are looking at annexation options.

Pembroke Mayor Judy Peterson wants her town to take a serious look at annexation options that might include a push north on U.S. 41 toward Hopkinsville and the corridor that’s lined with most of Christian County’s industrial plants. 

She asked for the discussion during a special meeting Monday night that also included the adoption of a resolution opposing a 500,000-square-foot beef processing plant about two miles from the center of Pembroke on John Rivers Road. The site is between the city limits of Pembroke and Hopkinsville. 

“This sort of falls on the coattails of what we are dealing with right now — of things coming to our back door,” Peterson told the four city commissioners and about a dozen citizens who attended the meeting. 

“If we want to grow, we must increase our mileage, our city limits,” she said. “If we want to protect what we have, we must expand. Now there are many ways of going about this. I want us to do it exactly the best way and the speediest way.”

Peterson said she wants to ensure that new residents and former Pembrokians who come back home can all see that the community is a growing place with a future. 

As the mayor made her case for growth and asked the city’s attorney, Jack Lackey, for guidance on Pembroke’s options, she and the commission members did not know that word had just gotten out in Hopkinsville that American Foods Group said it was turning down the Christian County site for its expansion.

That information didn’t reach Pembroke City Hall until shortly before the meeting adjourned. But the news didn’t diminish the commission’s interest in annexation options. 

Lackey said there could be some hurdles in the first option that Peterson mentioned — going north on 41 — because the city of Hopkinsville owns the water and sewer lines from Hopkinsville, down U.S. 41 and into Pembroke. If another city owns infrastructure in an area targeted for annexation, the community seeking to annex that area must give notice to the city with the infrastructure, said Lackey. 

In that case, he said, Hopkinsville City Council would then have 14 days to challenge the annexation. 

Previously, Hopkinsville officials said they would not challenge Pembroke annexing up U.S. 41 as far as Salubria Springs Road, said Lackey. He pointed out that was not a formal agreement. Salubria Springs Road is between John Rivers Road and the current Pembroke city limits. 

The commission did not take any formal action on annexation. Peterson said the commission would need help from local residents to talk with property owners in areas that might be annexed. 

On the heels of slaughterhouse talk, Pembroke wants to expand its footprint

Jennifer P. Brown

Jennifer P. Brown is the founder and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at editor@hoptownchronicle.org.

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