New Roads residents unconvinced about federal buyout plan
NEW ROADS- Pecan Acres is a subdivision just to the north of New Roads where the waters rise so often, residents call it "flood-city." The low to moderate income neighborhood was built on an old landfill in the late 1960's, and most of the homes were constructed below flood elevation.
For years residents have battled with the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury over flood mitigation projects. However, after the August deluge the neighborhood finally got federal attention.
The police jury gave details at a meeting Tuesday night about a plan to buy out all 40 homes at their full pre-flood value using funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The houses, streets and sewage system would all be torn up and the area would be converted into a flood plain.
If a single resident does not agree, then there won't be a buyout for anyone because the area can't become a flood plain if houses and roads are still standing.
Most residents of Pecan Acres who attended Tuesday night's meeting said they aren't happy with the proposal because the buyout won't be enough for them to start over. "I've said my goodbyes to my home but I won't leave there with just some pocket change and be homeless," said Sylvia Williams, a resident in the neighborhood.
Many of the houses are old and have gone through several floods so they aren't expected to get high appraisals. Before agreeing to a buyout, many of the residents said they want another program in place to help them transition to other homes because they can't afford it otherwise.
Finally there's a small group of elderly homeowners who other residents say jurors will have the hardest time convincing to sell.
At this point there's no hard deadline to agree to the buyouts. Jurors say they'll take their time throughout 2017 working with the residents on the program.