- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

PURVIS, Miss. (AP) - Organizers of a petition drive to elevate the community of Bellevue in Lamar County to a full-fledged municipality now have a location for a city hall and have gathered the first signatures.

If successful, Bellevue would become Lamar County’s fifth city. Bellevue would encompass about 15 square miles with a population of about 10,000.

The group behind the incorporation process went public with its plans last week.

The Hattiesburg American reports (http://hatne.ws/1U7VNsu) the first signatures were gathered Wednesday with an official petition signing kickoff in the Bellegrass subdivision, where city hall would be located.

“It’s been an amazing week,” said John Adcock, who would be the city’s mayor. “We’ve had just an amazing, positive response after going public with this effort, and we’re so very excited to be able to get out and talk to people about it.”

As part of the incorporation process, potential city government officials had to be selected - a mayor-select and five alderpersons-select - and a petition must be filed in chancery court with at least two-thirds of the registered voters in the proposed area in favor.

State Sen. John Polk, R-Hattiesburg, praised the incorporators for “taking the bull by the horns.”

“This area of Lamar County and the people in it have become known as the community of Bellevue, and we’ve been maturing into a very, very unique place,” Polk said. “This is not happening because of some plan that someone conceived but because of the good people that live here.”

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Information from: The Hattiesburg American, http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com

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