After over a year of fighting in court, Judge Overstreet has finally said enough is enough in the debate over the expansion of Bethel Village. After chastising the city for holding off on making a decision for such a long time, he demanded that they move the public hearing from it's April 9th date to March 19th.
Springfield Mayor Robert Walker isn't too concerned about the date being moved up, he still thinks that any evidence that the residents needed to put together will be found. However, when questioned about why the process for Bethel Village was taking so long, he pointed out that all the blame shouldn't be placed on the city, "A lot of that reasoning has been on their side. They had failed to come back after the first time the judge made an order, they failed to come back within a reasonable time and bring us their drawings and their plans." Reverend Billy Fox disagreed, stating that the Panama City Rescue Mission had turned in all their paperwork at the right time and that they would continue to fight to expand the Bethel Village.
Judge Overstreet ordered the city to make a decision on the development order, immediately after next month's public hearing on Bethel Village, but he warned them that the decision can't be based solely on resident's opinions, but facts, "They're entitled to their opinions, no doubt about it, but the rule of law has to transcend in these proceedings and the rule of law, in my view, hasn't been followed in this case."
The public hearing will be held on March 19th at 5:30 pm at the Community Center.