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Story Archives: Jury meets pleas with private aid
|Jury meets pleas with private aid|
Residents of Washington Subdivision in Wisner had their public pleas for sewage system assistance met with pledges of private support from Franklin Parish Police Jury members.
Following an extensive and emotional regular August meeting last week, the jury affirmed its position not to own the failing sewer system by not calling for a vote to affirm its one time resolution to take ownership.
However, a number of jurors instead pledged personal financial support to get the system up and running while a more permanent solution to the problems of administering the sewer system can be found.
Over the past three months, cost projections of between $7,000 to $10,000 to get the system running have been suggested.
Several jurors offered conditions which would supply the startup funds from individual jurors and not from public funds.
Most of the 25 or more interested subdivision residents appeared to be satisfied with the temporary solution, which was reached on Tuesday, Aug. 11. Later on the week of Aug. 10, no action had been reported at the site.
Residents of the Washington Subdivision, and supporters, converged on the jury meeting to contest reports of their not paying sewer bills in the past.
At one point, Juror K. W. "Buddy" Parks asked, "Can I have a show of hands of all the people who have paid their bills?" Each of those attending who said they lived in the subdivision raised their hands.
Diane Boatner, a spokesperson for the group, challenged the claim that residents have not paid their sewer bills in the past.
"I want you to know that what was said in The Franklin Sun about these residents not paying their bills was wrong," she said.
She said she collected enough money in a short time last week to pay the electric bills for the pumping station after the power company had shut off electricity.
"If these people weren't willing to pay their bills, I would have never got that money," she added.
Later she urged the Jury to, "consider taking over the system and helping those who really need it because they are too old to write grants or form committees."
"Help us get the pumps back on, raw sewage is flowing down the ditches," she said.
Sammy White spoke as a "concerned citizen."
"This community needs help, we're not talking about next year, we're talking about flies worse than mosquitoes," he said.
White asked parish health official Don Riser, "Why can't you get something done?"
Riser replied the Washington sewer system has been reported to the state engineering system which is responsible for investigation.
Others in the audience warned the jury that public support for the system would be a mistake.
Said one unidentified audience member, "Your own attorney advises you not to buy this system and no one in this room has any idea of what the final cost would be."
Still another said, "There are lots of elderly people in this parish, if you start fixing the sewer system for some, you be asked for help by everybody."
Many of the independent sewer systems in Franklin Parish, not associated with municipal areas, have experienced processing problems in the past.