A group of residents, Friends of Fruitland, again is trying the incorporation process to become a 4th class city. Signatures on an annexation petition sent to the city of Jackson on Oct. 7 were certified by county clerk Kara Clark Summers late last week. In accordance with state law, petitioners must be turned down for annexation by nearby cities before incorporation can proceed. In April, the group was advised by an attorney hired by the Cape Girardeau County Commission that its previous petition was invalid in the eyes of the commission. The attorney said an incorporation question could not be placed on the ballot because the group did not approach nearby cities with the annexation request and it needed to re-collect signatures from residents. The same set of signatures was included in an earlier petition that attempted to have the community incorporated as a village instead of a fourth-class city. The city of Jackson has one year to turn down the annexation request when it is submitted. The first such request from 2011 prompted the city of Jackson to hold a vote in February 2012 on whether to annex parts of Fruitland. Jackson voters answered no. If the city turns down the request for annexation, the next step in incorporation would be for the county commission to approve placing an incorporation question on the ballot.
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