April 28, 2006--Posted at 7:30 p.m. CST
"In terms of zoning and in terms of spending our money and city services we rather be in control of that ourselves," said Byron Southerland, Chairman of the Southside Petition Committee.
The community feels they have the population and resources to become a thriving city.
"We have a good water system and we will have sewer service really soon. We have a lot of potential for growth," said Southerland.
One of the things holding Southside back is the approval of Batesville, due to the fact that the two are located so close together.
"City's have the right to protect their own areas and who knows in the future we might want to expand out that way," said Batesville Mayor Joe Biard.
Because of the close proximity of Batesville to the Southside Community the main issue that was debated was exactly how many natural barriers come between the two.
"I hope the feelings of residents from so called Southside and Batesville will get better, but it will take a period of time. And it takes some things like what we went through today to work through the problems we have," said Biard.