LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The city limits of Hattiesburg may move further west if annexation plans follow through.
Hattiesburg City Council President Kim Bradley said he expects to present ideas for the annexation of Lamar County out to Highway 589 within the next month.
"If we don't grow, we become stale, and the city dies on the vine," said Bradley.
Bradley said the annexation would only include the business corridor of Highway 98, stretching west from Newpointe to just past the Highway 589 intersection in the Bellevue community.
"They want the fire protection; they need the sprinkler system," said Bradley of the businesses along that route who have contacted him with requests for annexation. "They need city services."
However, Lamar County Supervisor Phillip Carlisle said none of the business owners in that area have contacted him, and he said the parts of the county that have already been annexed have not received their proper city services.
"The roadways in annexed Lamar County that are not MDOT (Mississippi Department of Transportation) maintained are just about all in bad shape," said Carlisle.
Carlisle said the county would lose money if that section were annexed.
"We would probably lose in excess of 14 mills," he said, due to loss of road tax, sanitation and fire services.
Bradley, on the other hand, saw it as a money maker for the city as well as the county.
"If we're able to create an environment where there's more development, well then it's good for Lamar County, too, because they're going to receive more ad valorum taxes just like we would receive the sales tax from them," explained Bradley.
Carlisle said the Lamar County Board of Supervisors would "certainly object any effort" the city makes to annex that area, and he said there is a "well organized effort" by people in the Bellevue community to incorporate.