LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The effort to incorporate the City of Bellevue is just 500 signatures away from filing their petition in chancery court, according to The Citizens of Bellevue, LLC.
"We are officially under 500 signatures away from completion of where we need to be in order to move forward with the incorporation process," said John Adcock, the proposed Mayor of Bellevue.
Bellevue backers need two-thirds of registered voters in the proposed city to sign the petition to incorporate, but wouldn't say Wednesday how many signatures are currently on the petition. Adcock and other Bellevue leaders and supporters have been gathering signatures for just over a year.
He issued the following statement today regarding their progress:
Bellevue leaders said Hattiesburg filing for annexation of the business corridor along U.S. 98 and the continued interest by developers to build a new Walmart near Canebrake helped convince residents to sign.
"Those things have spurred this on," Adcock said. "People have woken up from those events and realized that this is something that we need to be able to control our community."
Scott Murray, who has lived in what could become Bellevue for five years, agrees.
"You've got to make a decision one way or another because when you're in an area that's urbanizing like this area is out here, you're either going to be annexed or you're going to incorporate," Murray said. "It was a very simple decision to me because to incorporate, that gives me a say in what happens in the community in which I live, and I want to have a say in that for myself and for my children and for posterity."
"Many residents have been involved in collecting signatures lately which has pushed this effort forward. We anticipate that others will see and hear of the support their neighbors, friends, and family have for the effort and sign for themselves soon," said Adcock.
Proposed Bellevue alderperson Patricia Nelson said positive resident reaction has been common once they learn more about the plan.
"A lot of people who were not on board, once they heard the implementation plan and they heard the people speaking about what the proposed plan was they see the benefits," Nelson said. "We've come away from those meetings with a goof many signatures."
Citizens of Bellevue committee members and volunteers will be holding more signing events in the next coming weeks. Adcock said they will be focusing on subdivisions, like Bent Creek, where they haven't had a large presence already. He said about 600 registered voters live there, so he said that neighborhood will essential to gathering the last needed signatures.
"I just hope we get those 500 signatures as quickly as possible," Adcock said.