Reader adamantly opposed to parish reservoir project

Published 8:26 am Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dear Editor:

Here are my reasons for opposing the Washington Parish Reservoir.

Now that the so-called “powers that be” have succeeded in destroying every vestige of historical value in Bogalusa, they have now set their sights on doing the same to the communities outside their present reach.

I speak of the proposal by the Washington Parish Reservoir Commission and its attempt to bring its total lack of regard for the sanctity and culture of the community to the rural people of this parish, who, by the way, hold to their way of life dearly.

We don’t want to be like St. Tammany Parish. I know several people there whose property taxes are more than most people’s mortgage payments are in Washington Parish. How’s that for progress /greed?

The rural people of this parish have chosen their way of life in large part to avoid these very types of busy bodies that aren’t satisfied with destroying the local culture in their own neighborhoods, but now want to attack ours.

You can name on one hand how many structures of historical significance remain in Bogalusa.

So few exist today only one was highlighted in this summer’s Centennial events — the Sullivan House.

Gone are the State and Ritz theaters, the Redwood Hotel and the Old Emerald House across the Street (I believe it was called), the old Family Bakery and the old Company Building on Avenue B. The Pine Tree Inn was sacrificed for the sake of so called “progress” many years ago. Just look at the Old Rail Road Depot, which is the centerpiece in many communities, but then again, they would have to spend their money and not yours.

I’m reluctant to mention the City Courthouse as historic because that’s where a lot of these hairbrained ideas are born — there and other clandestine gatherings.

You see, “they” won’t put their money where “their” mouths are, but they want to force you, as taxpayers, to spend yours through higher taxes, user fees, zoning restrictions, higher insurance and on and on. Rest assured this will affect every resident of Washington Parish, not just those in the immediate area!

This is not some sort of feudal state we live under here (or is it?), and we are not the peasants and are not subservient to the lords (landlords). Apparently; that’s the way they view us, as mere subjects.

What about those homeowners who will be forced to purchase flood insurance as a result of their actions? Do you suppose that those below the earthen dam will be forced to purchase flood insurance as well? This dam is proposed to be built on the Bogue Lusa Creek. Will everyone be forced to purchase flood insurance who lives in Bogalusa, directly below this earthen dam? Have they addressed this concern? Has anybody asked?

My sister who lives in St. James Parish is faced with several thousands of dollars a year because of forced flood insurance being imposed on them. They won’t even be able to sell their property because of this mandate! Will you?? Is this a legitimate concern?

What about the potential pollution perking down to the pristine Sand Hill Aquifer from all the farm runoff (animal waste, fertilizers, herbicides and many other chemicals used daily on the farms)? Will these will be perpetually concentrated over the aquifer in this reservoir?

They even said they intend to use this polluted water to recharge the aquifer. I’m sure they will say that the water will be treated first. Treated with what, more chemicals?

Wasn’t one of their first claims that the aquifer was contaminated with arsenic? That was proven to be a lie!!

This entire fiasco has been based in misinformation and false needs!!

Have any of them answered these concerns?

I believe the reservoir will cause irreparable damage to the aquifer and community and then will be deemed by those same entities as such and then they will force you to purchase their chemically treated water.

I hereby vehemently oppose this project!

We have been given an extension until Jan. 12 for the public comment period.

Please submit your stated reasons why you object to this travesty to:

U.S. Corps Of Engineers

Vicksbury District


4155 Clay St.

Vicksburg, MS 39183-3435

RE: permit application #SYK-MVK-2012-1240

We desperately need your help.

– Mark Stewart