In order to incorporate an initial group of concerned, dedicated citizens had to form and be listed. Once the City is incorporated, the City will have municipal elections where qualified residents can run for the office of their choosing. The first City of Bellevue elections will be held at the first eligible Mississippi municipal elections following incorporation approval. The next election on the Mississippi calendar is scheduled for 2017.
The members of this committee have lived in Bellevue for many years, and it is our home. Many residents of Bellevue, along with our committee, believe that incorporation is the natural and logical next step to maintain and improve the quality of life in our community.
The determination of revenue received by each municipality in the State of Mississippi is defined by state code MS Code § 27-65-75 (2013) as “eighteen percent (18%) of the total sales tax revenue collected during the preceding month under the provisions of this chapter, except that collected under the provisions of Sections 27-65-15, 27-65-19(3) and 27-65-21, on business activities within a municipal corporation shall be allocated for distribution to the municipality and paid to the municipal corporation. On or before August 15, 1993, and each succeeding month thereafter, eighteen and one-half percent (18-1/2%) of the total sales tax revenue collected during the preceding month under the provisions of this chapter, except that collected under the provisions of Sections 27-65-15, 27-65-19(3), 27-65-21 and 27-65-24, on business activities within a municipal corporation shall be allocated for distribution to the municipality and paid to the municipal corporation.” The verbiage used to describe municipal sales tax revenue collection by this committee was based specifically on the verbiage that has been used in MS Code.
Currently, we do not enjoy low fire ratings, and it will not cost millions to improve our current rating. We believe that our community with its high quality of life and amazing residents deserve higher public safety and fire protection standards. This committee has spent a significant amount of time discussing our current and projected fire ratings with professionals in the fire protection industry and the MS Ratings Bureau in preparation for this incorporation. The aim of the City of Bellevue is to improve its protection class initially by enhancing the services offered by the Central Lamar Fire District through, but not limited to, additional fire hydrants and personnel.
This committee nor the future City of Bellevue are involved in the sewer lagoon being built for Canebrake Utilities. If you have any questions regarding the lagoon, you may contact Canebrake Utilities.
We have discussed the cost of infrastructure and have evaluated the area thoroughly. Sewer and water are serviced through certificated entities, they will not and cannot be changed without agreement and/or sale between the certificated service provider and the City of Bellevue. The initial Mayor and Board of Aldermen do not intend to attempt to purchase any utility systems. Our committee is also not aware of any sewer utilities requiring residents not currently on sewer systems to pay for or tie into one.
Please see the proposed map for the City of Bellevue here. The City of Bellevue will be approximately 15 square miles.
We want to address this issue head on because we know it is a critical issue. The true answer is the budget will be set after incorporation. However, to provide services, we estimate city taxes to be in the 30 - 40 mil range.
Please reference the chart below for examples of the possible net cost increase to a homeowner for city taxes and estimated savings on insurance premiums due to improved fire rating.
* If you would like to know how your home owner's insurance may be affected by a fire rating improvement, please to contact your insurance provider and request a quote for your insurance based on a Class 7 fire rating.
Yes, the population of the City of Bellevue is approximately 6,200 residents.
Absolutely! One of the many reasons we are pursuing incorporation is to enable our community to grow in a manner that encourages high standards and architectural continuity. The Lamar County Supervisors have done a good job encouraging productive growth, but we want to have the ability to keep it that way.
This is not about Hattiesburg. This is about Bellevue and our community's desire to control its own destiny. The City of Bellevue is incorporating because our Lamar County residents and our businesses desire to keep this community moving down a path of prosperity, controlled growth and high standards.
Long-term planning for our city ensures architectural standards, continuity, and increased property values.
Local self-governance gives our community the ability to control its future.
Taxes paid locally should benefit us locally -- in Lamar County. Your property taxes for this city will remain in Lamar County and will be used to benefit Bellevue and its residents. We will keep sales taxes in Bellevue. Right now, all sales tax paid in the Bellevue area go to the State of Mississippi. The City of Bellevue would get to keep 18% of the sales tax collected within the city limits will all proceeds benefitting our city and our residents.
Enhanced Fire Protection: The City of Bellevue will be able to take steps necessary to improve our fire rating -- adding fire hydrants, employing additional full time fire protection personnel, and imposing a building code. These improvements have the ability to change our rating from a Class 8 to a Class 7, which is significant and leads to insurance premium savings for property owners.
Enhanced Police Protection: The Lamar County Sheriff's Department does an excellent job preserving the peace in our county. However, they currently do not have the staff to highly saturate the entire county, 500 square miles, with deputies at all hours. Initially, the City of Bellevue, through an interlocal agreement with the county, would be able to provide 2 to 3 full-time deputies at all hours within our 15 square miles of city. Providing increased public safety personnel is critical to our ability to continue on our path of progress.
Quality of Life -- We live in a very nice community, and we appreciate the work that Lamar County has done to support it. Our community is developing with high standards and architectural continuity, and with a vision and planning, we can keep it that way.
Incorporation is the natural, logical progression of our residential and commercial growth in Bellevue.
The Citizens of Bellevue felt the need to complete our feasibility study and have pertinent facts about incorporation before putting too much out into the public. Some of that information must be contained within the petition that you will be asked to sign, but other information was important to us in order to ensure a successful municipality in Bellevue.
We have and continue to actively seek donations from private donors interested in this idea and effort.
This all depends on the timing of incorporation approval as the city would not collect levied taxes until the February of the year following approval of incorporation. Upon approval of incorporation, the officials would immediately begin finalizing plans for enhanced services that would be deployed as soon as possible.
We are all pleased with the services that we receive from our home owners associations and county government, but this effort is about preserving and enhancing our quality of life. Right now, the best vehicle to maintain our high quality community and to control our own destiny is through incorporation.
Anticipated revenue from real property taxes is expected to be approximately $2.5 to $3 million.
The budget for the city will rely heavily on how long the process of incorporation takes and changes that may occur between now and then. Service needs may be impacted by future development and activity within the proposed incorporated area.
Lamar County currently collects 124.15 mills in real property taxes in the proposed incorporated area which equates to approximately 8.3 million dollars.
Residents will continue to pay taxes to Lamar County as you have in the past. Additional millage for the City of Bellevue would be in addition to your current Lamar County taxes. For example, if the City of Bellevue chooses to levy 40 mills for the city, you would pay an approximate total of 164 mills (124 mills to Lamar County and 40 mills to the City of Bellevue).
The services of the city will evolve and be enhanced over time and many services will not be decided by the initial mayor and board of alderman, but simply put: municipal class services to include enhanced fire protection, enhanced police protection, professional services (engineering, legal, and planning), parks and recreation, greenspace, bike paths, walkways and improved roadway design. Also see "What do I get for the increased cost?"
The first City of Bellevue elections will be held at the first eligible Mississippi municipal elections following incorporation approval. The next election on the Mississippi calendar is scheduled for 2017.
Mayor and Board of Alderman
The initial mayor and alderman have devoted a great deal of time and energy to this effort thus far without compensation and will continue to do so initially. Salaries for officials would be determined at public meetings at a later date.
We have hired numerous professionals throughout this process including a city planner that reviewed the current development of the area. With consideration of the planner’s recommendations, the city boundaries were defined using natural and man-made boundaries.
City development requires a certain amount of undeveloped property to allow for future growth and development.
None of these services are required by a municipality, and all future municipal services will be decided by the mayor and board of alderman; some by the initial board and others by future elected officials. Municipal class services will certainly be enhanced and developed as the city grows.
At this time, the office at 20 Bellegrass Blvd. will remain City Hall until further notice.
Sewer and water are serviced through certificated entities, they will not and cannot be changed without agreement and/or sale between the certificated service provider and the City of Bellevue. The initial Mayor and Board of Aldermen do not intend to attempt to purchase any utility systems.
The initial mayor and board of alderman plan to begin the development and implementation of a city plan that would include parks and recreation development throughout the City of Bellevue. The city will also include approximately 1 mile of frontage on both sides of the Longleaf Trace.
The city plan will be a progressive development that would be driven by current land use and expected development over time. It is expected that both Hwy 98 and Hwy 589 would see commercial development and areas nearby/adjacent would evolve into a mixed use residential/retail district. The initial mayor and alderman have also discussed developing various zones and districts throughout the city through a city plan that would promote safe vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic throughout the entire city.
City zoning will rely heavily on current land use. Larger tracts of land currently used for farming and/or hunting would remain available for this use.
It is expected that in order to improve the fire rating class of the City of Bellevue, we would require city building/fire codes similar to the requirements already in place in our platted subdivisions. Existing buildings and structures would be grandfathered in.
Since the city has discussed plans to initially enter into an inter-local agreement for law enforcement services with the Lamar County Sheriff’s Department all necessary services required for policing the city would be negotiated with LCSD.
Currently, taxes are paid to Lamar County that cover trash and debris pickup throughout the county and our residents are very happy with those services. While municipal services are phased in, Bellevue plans to initially utilize those same great waste management services of Lamar County once that millage is transferred.
School districts would not be affected by the incorporation of the City of Bellevue. It is inevitable that the Lamar County School District will require additional schools and the growth of Bellevue may encourage a new Lamar County school within or very near to the City of Bellevue (similar to schools already in Purvis and Sumrall), but the initial mayor and alderman have no plans to pursue an independent municipal school district.
The decision of whether or not alcohol will be made available within the City of Bellevue will be made strictly by the residents of the City of Bellevue. The City of Bellevue mayor and alderman would have no power to allow for alcohol sales without a petition and vote by the residents.
We expect that the residents of the City of Bellevue will all benefit from this incorporation with increased property value, enhanced public safety, enhanced quality of life, and the ability to self-govern.
A group of local, dedicated Lamar County residents who believe this is the right path for our community have committed and continue to invest their time, resources, and expertise to this effort. We are thankful for their continued help and support.
The City of Bellevue has a lovely future, a place for families and friends to share their lives together in happiness. Bring your love for our community together to "incorporate today for a better tomorrow".
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