LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Lamar County supervisors are calling Hattiesburg's redirection of its wastewater plans a victory for their county.
"It is a big deal," said Steve Lampton, supervisor for District 1, where the majority of the spray field was set to be built. "We could look at this as a victory for Lamar County, but it's a battle that Lamar County did not choose to get into. We're pleased that Hattiesburg went that direction. We wish them well. It's a good thing."
Hattiesburg said a big reason for backing out of Lamar County was time. Hattiesburg City Council President Kim Bradley said Hattiesburg has deadlines it needs to meet and does not have time to waste on a lengthy legal process.
"That decision probably saved us $3,000-$4,000 in court costs, and that's a good thing," Lampton said. "That's a good thing. That's money that we can put back into our county."
While the council's Thursday decision was seemingly anticlimactic, passing three motions to completely change the course of its wastewater system. Rather than a large lawsuit and court battle, Lampton said the county's fight has not been so simple behind the scenes.
"I was four days in office in front of 275 people, and it's been a challenge," he said. "It might have appeared to be an easy process, but this was something that we worked very diligently to stop. The credit goes to a lot of different people here. Mike Backstrom started zoning in that area. Dale Lucas came up with the ordinance. Perry Phillips wrote the ordinance, and most of all, the people of the community fought the battle. We're all pleased. We're all real happy."
Lampton said much of the credit goes to the residents who live closest to the land the city wanted to use for the spray field.
"That's a solid bunch of folks," Lampton said. "They got their facts. The knew spray systems. They studied these systems. They went to battle, and they won the fight. My hat's off to all the folks down in Okahola, Tatum Camp Road, J.D. Hatton Road. They fought this battle for us."
WDAM 7 News reached out to those residents who had been vocal about their opposition for comment. Resident Carl Bond said Friday no one wanted to comment, saying he felt the had won and did not need to gloat.