(a) When two or more municipalities lying contiguous to each other desire to consolidate and operate as one municipality, they may do so by proceeding in the manner hereafter provided in this section.
(b) If it is the purpose to annex a city or town to another municipality, then the governing body of each city or town shall adopt an ordinance expressing a willingness to such annexation. After both ordinances are passed and published as provided for by law, the governing body of the municipality to be annexed shall, by resolution submit the question of annexation at a special election to be held at a time specified in such resolution, not less than 40 days nor more than 90 days after passage of the last adopted willingness ordinance or at a time otherwise specified by law. No other proposition may be on the ballot. Said election shall be held pursuant to the general municipal election laws.
(c) In absence of a willingness ordinance by the city or town to be annexed, the filing of a petition signed by 10 percent or more of the number of qualified voters who voted in the last general municipal election held in such municipality immediately preceding the presentation of said petition, asking that the question of annexation into another contiguous city or town be submitted to the qualified voters thereof, with the judge of probate of the county (or counties) in which such municipality is located, shall mandatorily require an election to be held as herein provided. Whenever such a petition shall be presented to such probate judge, he shall examine said petition to determine the genuineness of the signatures thereon, the correctness and adequacy of the information given by each person signing the petition and the qualification of electors signing such petition. If the probate judge determines that the petition meets statutory requirements, he shall certify such fact to the chief executive officer of the municipality for which such election is so petitioned and such certificate shall be attached to the petition. The certificate of the judge of probate as to the sufficiency of said petition shall be final. After passage of a willingness ordinance by the annexing city and upon receipt of petition certification from the judge of probate, the governing body of the municipality to be annexed shall by resolution submit the question of annexation at a special election to be held at a time specified in such proclamation, not less than 40 days nor more than 90 days after passage of the willingness ordinance, or after receipt of the petition certification, whichever event occurs last, or at a time otherwise specified by law. No other proposition may be on the ballot. This election shall be conducted pursuant to the general municipal election laws.
(d) If at the election on consolidation of two contiguous municipalities, a majority of the voters cast votes in favor of the annexation, and the number so voting in favor of the annexation equals or is greater than one-half of the number of voters who voted in the last general municipal election held in such city or town, then, upon the expiration of 45 days after a canvass of the returns, the territory within the corporate limits of such city or town shall become a part of the annexing municipality and may be divided into wards or districts or annexed to wards or districts already established.
(e) If the annexation is not adopted at the election so called, the question of annexation under this section shall not be resubmitted to the voters of such municipality for adoption within two years thereafter, at which time the question of annexation may be reconsidered in the manner above provided.
Last modified: May 3, 2021