With talk of Hattiesburg expanding its boundaries along the U.S. 98 corridor west towards Mississippi 589, Lamar County has hired legal representation.
The Lamar County Board of Supervisors has hired Chad Mask, with Carroll Warren & Parker, a Jackson law firm in the event Hattiesburg attempts to expand.
“When they announced a week ago Tuesday, about their intentions, our board attorney suggested to the board that we go ahead and look at legal representation, should Hattiesburg file for annexation, and that is exactly what we have done, we just sought out and retained representation,” said Lamar County District 4 Supervisor Phillip Carlisle.
Last week, on the heels of a discussion regarding a Southern Oil owned business on West 4th Street, Hattiesburg City Council President, Kim Bradley, said the council was planning to expand farther west into Lamar County.
Bradley expects to present ideas for the annexation of Lamar County to Mississippi 589 within the next month.
In a previous interview with 7 On Your Side, Bradley stated; "If we don't grow, we become stale, and the city dies on the vine."
According to Bradley, 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.
The gas station across from Corner Market, near Mississippi 589 is also owned by Southern Oil, and according to Bradley, it has been brought to their attention they would like to be annexed, just like the gas station at the corner of West 4th Street and West Hills Drive.
During talks of annexation, a group of residents in Lamar County that are involved in creating what would be known as the City of Bellevue, prompted a response from Carlisle.
“I will do everything possible to support the efforts of a group of citizens who are taking on the challenge of preserving and enhancing the good life we have in the Bellevue community. This effort involves not only commercial corridors, but the Bellevue community as a whole,” said Carlisle.
Carlisle stated the group of residents should appear before the supervisors May 4th.
“If Bellevue annexed, or incorporated it would be no different if they could voluntarily request annexation just like they can now, there is nothing wrong with petitioning to be annexed,” said Carlisle.
In the mean time, Bradley sees the area out west as a money maker for the city, as well as the county.
As of now, the City of Hattiesburg has not adopted an official stance on the annexation.