Comite project land issue will be discussed Tuesday
BATON ROUGE - Tuesday, members of the Comite River Diversion Canal Project Task Force are expected to get an update from the Department of Transportation and Development and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about how to handle an issue over receiving federal money to help build the long-planned diversion canal.
The project, which has been in the works for more than a decade, is designed to ease flooding in East Baton Rouge, Ascension and lower Livingston Parish.
This week, lawmakers are scheduled to get an update on how the project can obtain mitigation credits that will be transferred into federal money to help fund the project. Currently, the project is running into problems obtaining the credits and could jeopardize future progress on the 12-mile canal.
In 2011, project officials expected the Comite diversion project to be complete by 2018, seven years later than originally planned.
A WBRZ report in September found less than five percent of land, required to be obtained by the federal government, has been purchased; there had been no land buys made in two years.
"They have known since 2001 about all this mitigation land and have done very little and we can get very little answers as to why. I think the finger pointing needs to stop and I think everybody should take responsibility for their job and do it," State Representative Valarie Hodges said then.
Tuesday's meeting is set for 10 a.m. at the state capitol.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz