More food for thought on proposed reservoir

Published 1:53 pm Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dear Editor:

Presently, our state is $103 million in deficit.

They are already making cuts in some departments that normally work five days a week to four days. More cuts are to be made on the 26th of January. I would assume more cuts will be made in the future to deal with the deficit.

You know that the reservoir’s representative Mr. Pierce, has requested to meet with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg for a permit to construct a 3,262-acre reservoir in the Oak Grove Community in Washington Parish. Do you believe that the state could afford such an endeavor?

I was talking to my nephew recently about the cost of rural property in our area. He and his family live in Richardson, which is five miles on the other side of Franklinton. I would estimate that this small community is 15-20 miles from the Oak Grove Community, so one would assume the rural property in Richardson would be closer to the prices being paid in the Oak Grove Community.

So my nephew and I began to discuss what properties in his area were bringing.

He said 5-10 acre plots would bring $5-6,000 per acre and that he purchased 10 acres in Richardson, and soon, he would purchase another plot of 10 acres at the same price.

He also said that larger plots of land, 40-80 acres, are brining $4,000 per acre.

Note that these are recent prices.

I’d also like to make an estimate on what 3,262 acres of land in the Oak Grove Community should bring: $3,262 x 4,500=$14,679,000.

That’s close to $15 million, which would be just one thing to deal with for the state to consider.

There are other things, of course, for the state to consider. Let’s start with cemeteries. Now we understand that three cemeteries will be flooded. The cost of digging up hundreds of graves, removing the remains and also purchasing another piece of land, digging holes to transfer the remains into the other graves and of course transferring head stones to site hundreds of times is another gigantic cost to be considered by the state.

Also, something else that the state would have to consider is that five additional cemeteries will be blocked or flooded. So the possibility exists that more than three, and possibly as many as eight, cemeteries would need to be moved — a much larger job than the three is to be considered.

Also to be considered is what is the cost of dealing with roads that might be blocked by water.

Another thing to be considered is will Louisiana Highway 439 be blocked to the extent that it would be blocked by water?

Would more bridges be needed? School bus routes would be blocked. Post office routes would be blocked.

We haven’t talked about the cost of clearing block and brick houses and barns off of the properties that were taken from owners against their will.

We own a home and four acres and are not for sale.

So if we leave this home and property, we will have to be forced against our will.

– Mamie and Edward McDonald