Carriere rallies for independence from the beast

Published 6:59 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Loss of identity and higher taxes are something residents of the Carriere community would like to avoid, so at least some of them are rallying to incorporate the area.

The small initial committee formed to help get the ball rolling has met with some speed bumps. They have to find funding to pay for the process and get a figure of how many registered voters are in the proposed area, Carriere resident Dale Miller said.

Miller asks residents to help him iron out the bumps so the process will move forward, whether that be researching the Internet for funding or helping to count the number of registered voters.

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With more area residents present at last night’s meeting, the floor was opened for discussion on what parts of Carriere would be included.

“We are not in charge of this meeting you all are in charge of this meeting,” committee Jim Dischinger said.

The area proposed to be incorporated at Tuesday night’s meeting was too small for most of the residents in attendance, especially those in North Hill, since the subdivision was left out. When taken to a vote by a show of hands, all North Hill residents in attendance rejected the idea of being annexed by the City of Picayune and accepted the idea of being incorporated into Carriere.

Dischinger said the proposed map was small to ensure success of the incorporation. Dischinger said if the area is too big then it could mean the incorporation would fail if the required two thirds of registered voters fail to sign the petition.

“We’ve got to win the first time out,” Dischinger said.

At first, the plan was to incorporate a small area then annex the rest like North Hill, Dischinger said. However, the residents of North Hill feared if they were not included in the initial incorporation then Picayune might act first, incorporating them into their city. Some residents feared that Picayune might have the jump on Carriere and that they already had things in motion to secure North Hill. Former Picayune City Engineer David Hattaway said that he is sure that Picayune does not have the jump on Carriere to add North Hill to the city.

One concerned North Hill resident made a motion to get the ball rolling on North Hill being included in the initial incorporation of Carriere, instead of waiting until after.

The committee and all in attendance approved a motion to include North Hill in the initial incorporation after they get approval from the subdivision’s homeowners association and a map of what they want included. The map will be turned in at the next meeting set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 27 at the Pearl River Central cafeteria. Hattaway said he is the consultant engineer and surveyor for the North Hill area and should be able to draw up the map.

Taxes will increase if Carriere is incorporated but not as much as if Picayune annexes the area, said committee member Tommy Pearson. There will need to be money to pay for the city clerk and the other limited necessary employees, Pearson said. So far, the plan is that Carriere elected officials will not be paid, Pearson said. While Pearson has agreed to be the interim mayor if the city is incorporated, he said he will not run in the first election so how much taxes will go up after the first elected mayor takes office is unknown. As the city grows so will the taxes, Pearson said.

Maintenance of the roads will be the responsibility of the newly formed city, if all goes as planned, Pearson said. Carriere possibly could donate their collected sales tax to the county to fund the road maintenance, avoiding a costly property tax increase, Dischinger said.

In other business the committee approved a motion to add a new committee member, Carol Larose, as the Anchor Lake representative.