Lamar supervisor cited for storing FEMA trailers on his property

By Sheri Falk - bio | email | Twitter

LUMBERTONS, MS (WDAM) - A Lamar County supervisor has been cited for illegally storing FEMA trailers within the city of Lumberton.

The question of whether it is legal to store former FEMA trailers within Lumberton city limits is still unanswered.

The property in question is off Highway 11 and is owned by Lamar County Supervisor Ben Winston.

Winston says the Lumberton Board of Aldermen has "not identified exactly what they want to zone his piece of property as," so he leased his property to an out-of-state company for six months to temporarily store old FEMA trailers.

Winston says he met with the board before leasing out his land, asking them to zone it for heavy machinery.

"There was no opposition against zoning this particular property for heavy manufacturing."

Three months later the trailers have caused an uproar in the city, and the mayor along with two aldermen now oppose.

On Wednesday, Winston received a citation stating he was in violation of the law -- a law which many folks around the city say is questionable.

According to former mayor Aaron Lott: "The  moratorium code that they are trying to say is illegal with the storing of the trailers was passed only to live-in mobile homes. It has absolutely nothing to do with the storing of them."

Lott says it's the city that is in violation.

"The mayor knows just as well as I do that what they are trying to do is illegal."

Seven on Your Side tried to contact the mayor, but she could not be reached for comment.

Lott and Winston say allowing this company to do business in town is creating jobs and revenue for the city.

"This is the greatest economic impact the city has had in 12 years," says Lott.

Winston doesn't know why the situation couldn't have been discussed previously, and says his  "intentions are, and they have always been, to do what's best for Lumberton."

Winston  plans on consulting with an attorney to determine whether the citation is valid.

Copyright 2010 WDAM. All rights reserved.