Reservoir Commission holds regular meeting

Published 8:27 am Friday, June 24, 2016

The Washington Parish Reservoir Commission met Wednesday at the Washington Parish Economic Development building in Bogalusa.

The meeting didn’t last half an hour, and only two items were on the agenda.

Without comment, the commission approved receiving the proposed budget for fiscal year 2016-2017 and they approved an annual audit.

The commission is still led by Huey Pierce, although his term and the terms of the other commissioners have expired. The parish council has suggested new commissioners to the governor, but he hasn’t acted on those recommendations. Until the governor appoints new commissioners, the existing board will continue to serve.

The commission received something of a blow this legislative session, as a bill passed that forbids the commission from building a reservoir by using eminent domain. The commission had been pushing for a reservoir in the Oak Grove community, but several in that area refused to sell land for the project.

In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not sign off on the project, and Phillipp Bedwell, who was in the audience Wednesday, asked anyone on the commission point blank whether that meant the project was dead.

He was met with silence.

Bedwell then objected to spending more money to fight the Corps.

“I see no sense in spending any more of the taxpayers’ money going after the Corps on that issue,” Bedwell told the commission.

“I have no response,” said Pierce, after the meeting.

According to the commission’s budget, their estimated fund balance by July 1, 2016, will be $27,680. Their estimated fund balance June 30, 2017, will be $0.