Lamar Co. citizens continue fight against spray fields

Lamar Co. citizens continue fight against spray fields
There was a standing room as roughly 50 people gathered to voice their concerns after the meeting. Photo source: WDAM

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Lamar County Board of Supervisors will draft a letter supporting county citizens who are opposed to the 3,000-acre spray field plan.

"The board of supervisors passed a motion to write a letter in support of the people to let the department of environmental quality know we are opposed to this," District 2 Supervisor Warren Byrd said.

There was a standing room as roughly 50 people gathered to voice their concerns after the meeting.

Resident Mary Hartfield presented a letter to the board that she drafted to send to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality regarding the spray field concerns. With that, the motion was made by the supervisors and passed, 4-0, with District 4 Supervisor Phillip Carlisle absent.

Supervisors also noted that any elected public official can sign the letter as well, after Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel, and Tax Assessor Jack Smith spoke up in favor of supporting the citizens with the letter.

"They can't put something in our county of this magnitude without a permit, they may try, I'm sure that (supervisors) are going to hire your lawyer to fight this, I know that most of you, or all of you are behind us on this, we don't want this in our county," Lamar County resident Joe Moia said.

According to Byrd, the supervisors obtained legal counsel over a month ago, to have if need be for wastewater spray field issues.

One after another, county residents stood up to voice their disapproval of the spray field issues, which is something that has been done in multiple meetings in recent months.

"We are concerned about polluting the water, soil and we think Hattiesburg needs permission to run the sewer across our land," Lamar County resident Dulan Hartfield said.

"I can speak for only myself, but my feelings is there's nobody on this board of supervisors that sits with me on this bench that supports anything to do with the spray fields in Lamar County," Byrd said.

Cost of the overall waste water project was briefly debated, with concerns of why Hattiesburg would spend and waste millions more than need be, according to county residents.

Residents also discussed circulating petitions into the city limits of Hattiesburg as well as portions of Lamar County.

"The fact (residents) are looking at petitions with in the city limits of Hattiesburg will create awareness there that will help our effort here in Lamar County," Lamar County District 1 Supervisor Steve Lampton said.

"This is our county and we will protect it and protect the citizens and tax payers who live in it and around it," Byrd said.