- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

PURVIS, Miss. (AP) - For the better part of 2015, James Williams had heard about the effort to transform his community of Bellevue into Lamar County’s fifth city.

And the more Williams heard, the less he liked.

“They can’t offer us anything that we don’t already have besides higher taxes and fees for garbage pickup and permits and so forth,” said Williams, who lives with his wife, Dianne, on property that has been in his family for five or six generations on JM Burge Road. “They could put zoning on our property, have eminent domain power.

“We’re just against it. We don’t want to lose our privileges,” Williams told The Hattiesburg American (https://hatne.ws/1QIeNrw ).

Williams has banded with like-minded neighbors and community residents to form the Concerned Citizens of the Bellevue Community, a group that doesn’t see the need for another layer of government that will take more than it will give.

“All they can offer me is more taxes,” said Jerry Idom, who was one of the area’s earliest residents along Cole Road. “They can’t offer me anything else. I already have everything a city can give me, except for more taxes, and I don’t need any more taxes.”

On Aug. 20, a group of Bellevue community residents appeared before the Lamar County Board of Supervisors to announce their intention to incorporate and create a city that would encompass about 15 square miles with a population of as many as 10,000.

The incorporation process requires that a petition be filed in chancery court with at least two-thirds of the registered voters in the proposed area in favor. Officials estimated the projected city would boast about 2,900 registered voters, meaning between 1,900 and 2,000 signatures in favor of incorporation must be collected.


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

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