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Bayou Manchac homeowners push for answers on clean-up efforts

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BAYOU MANCHAC - Homeowners along the Ascension side of Bayou Manchac say East Baton Rouge is not holding up its end of the bargain to help clean up the bayou.

"They have two barges that have been coming up and down the bayou, and they are cleaning out the Ascension Parish side but not cleaning out the East Baton Rouge Parish side," Rudy Tucker, who lives on Bayou Manchac, said.

A deal between Ascension, East Baton Rouge and Iberville to clean up the bayou was reached back in October. It is now in the second phase of a four-phase project.

"If you don't clean up the whole bayou, then you are susceptible to having restrictions occur on the whole bayou again because the trees will float out and get stuck together," John Rosso, the head of a coalition of
homeowners on the bayou said.

East Baton Rouge officials say they understand the problem, but a new contractor has been added to the project, so they have to reach a new agreement with that contractor, which still has to be approved by the Metro Council.

That agreement is expected to be in place, and the work to begin next month.

"Ascension Parish was quite capable of getting their parish council together and getting an agreement. It seems that there is no reason why a community like East Baton Rouge Parish couldn't do the same," Rosso said.

The Bayou Manchac homeowners are holding a meeting on January 4th, to get an update on the bayou efforts. Officials from all three parishes are expected to be there.

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