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Carriere residents still mulling over incorporation

Residents of Carriere are continuing their work to turn their community into an incorporated area in order to maintain their unique identity from being encroached by a neighboring city.

Members of the previously formed Carriere Incorporation Committee informed attendees of the Thursday night meeting that resident’s addresses, fire protection and postal and water services will remain the same.

While incorporation will lead to a higher millage rate, double what residents are currently paying, of 8 mills, committee member Karl Scott said that incorporation might lead to lower insurance premiums. Those lower premiums could off set the increase in millage, however eight mills is much less than the 25.5 mills that Picayune residents are currently paying, Scott said.

“Incorporated we have direction and purpose, unincorporated we have no focus or voice,” Scott said.

The new city would expect to collect a percentage of sales tax that all incorporated areas take advantage of, Scott said.

Currently Carriere does not have enough signatures to get the petition added to the docket, committee chair Tommy Pearson said. Registered voter population in the proposed incorporation area is about 2,400 so the petition will need about 1,600 signatures, he said. Pearson said they currently have 497 signatures.

“So we’re way off,” Pearson said. “This is going to take a concerted effort.”

Pearson asked for some volunteers to help distribute petitions and possibly go door to door asking for signatures to bring that number up.

Some residents have met with a problem in that previous residents are still registered under their old address, leaving the current resident in voter limbo. Committee member Hilda Owen said there is a way to remedy the problem. Owen said a request can be filed to remove the old resident from the voter rolls or current residents can wait for the old resident to register in another county or precinct. Sometimes when people die names are not removed from rolls, and sometimes names are removed because they are believed to be deceased.

“Some of them have come back to life, and have fussed when they had to get an affidavit in order to vote,” Hilda Owen said and was responded to by laughter.

Past incidents of incorporation have had a high rate of success provided there are enough signatures to begin the process and neighboring cities do not contest, Pearson said. If a neighboring city does contest they still need to provide just cause for their objection, Pearson said.

In other business the committee;

— Approved adopting the minutes from last meeting.

The next meeting of the Carriere Incorporation Committee was set with a tentative date of 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Pearl River Central Cafeteria.