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New Roads neighborhoods oppose relocation of flood-prone subdivision

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NEW ROADS - Residents hoping to relocate out of their flood-prone subdivision ran into opposition from their would-be neighbors. People living in Pecan Acres, known to many as Flood City, had voted to build a new housing development in a more affluent part of New Roads but residents there opposed it.

"Why wouldn't they have the opportunity to live there?" asked former Pecan Acres resident Sylvia Williams.

The state and federal government are working to relocate about 40 predominately older, African-American homeowners out of the subdivision. There was a proposal to build about 25 homes valued around $170,000 at a new site just off Hospital Road behind Walmart.

The plan was strongly opposed by nearby neighborhoods with much higher property values such as Sugar Fields, according to Councilman Kirk White. As of Tuesday the landowners of the proposed site pulled out of the deal.

Also, the location was already selected for a future industrial park according to White. 

Organizers for the government-funded relocation initiative say they will look for other property options in the same area.

"We want to make sure we don't leave any stones unturned at the preferred site," said Louisiana's Director of Community Development Pat Forbes.

Two less desirable sites have also been identified. Residents also have the option to take a buyout and move on their own.

Forbes hopes to start relocating residents into a new subdivision by late 2019.

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