Hattiesburg subdivision makes comeback

The City of Hattiesburg acknowledged a receipt of a performance bond from Cascades Development to guarantee completion of infrastructure in a Hattiesburg subdivision in 2007; however, the project was put on hold due to financial issues. Fast forward seven years, new developers plan to resurrect the subdivision.

Attorney Oby Rogers, alongside his brother and son, recently purchased the Cascades subdivision situated off Richburg Road in Hattiesburg. Mayor DuPree says he foresees positive things to come from the developers' recent purchase, but a few things need to be worked out before ground can be broken.

"What he has done is he has given us the opportunity to try and complete some road work that should have been completed by the original developer, which was not," DuPree said.

"The original developer gave us a $125,000 bond, and we need to access those bonds, or we need to draw those bonds down. We need to go through that by actually putting the bonding company on notice and going through the legal process of doing that."

Oby Rogers presented his concerns to the Hattiesburg municipal governing body on Monday.

"We've got to deal with this $125,000 bond. We want y'all to make claim on the bond for $125,000 to pave the streets," Rogers told city leaders.

The original developers of Cascades subdivision went bankrupt, so the new developers and The City of Hattiesburg are in the process of figuring out who is going to pour the last layer of asphalt in the neighborhood. The bottom line is, the taxpayers of the City of Hattiesburg won't have to foot the bill.

Mayor DuPree addressed his primary concerns after Monday night's city council meeting.

"The concern that we have is the paving is going to cost more than one hundred and twenty five thousand and so we would actually have to bear that cost. That's first. Second is the possibility that we pave the road and they just sold ten lots and you go out there and build houses and then you damage the road," DuPree said.

The mayor added that he does not want to city to bear the responsibility of paving the subdivision twice, because if anything went wrong, it would be on the city's back to pay for. He says he's been working with Rogers on this for quite some time now.

"There are some things we need to work through in order to make this work but I think if we're all talking and working and all have the same goal we'll get it done," DuPree said.

Rogers does not have a background in the housing market.

DuPree added that although new houses are a plus, the real money comes from businesses around the community.

A decision has not been made about the bond issue, and groundbreaking for the new homes which will range between $250-300,000 is unclear.