Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Floods worry Golden Pond homeowners

home owners insurance

A standing-room-only crowd of homeowners greeted the Tate County Supervisors at their November 2 meeting.

The members of the large group were property owners from Golden Pond subdivision. Their complaint was the major flooding that had occurred there twice in the past year.

Brenda Brooks acted as a spokesperson for the group.

She told the Supervisors that some of the damage was so severe that the homeowners were still unable to return to their residences.

Other homeowners complained that the covers had floated off their sewage treatment plants during the last flood, and they were concerned about contamination of their wells.

"We just want to know where to go for help," Brooks said.

District Three Supervisor Tony Sandridge, who had toured the area during the previous weekend, said that his understanding was that the problem was on right-of-ways secured by the Mississippi Department of Transportation. If that was the case, he said, the county could not do anything.

Brooks said that MDOT had informed them of a study being done of the area to determine what should be done. She added that she and the other homeowners feared that the area would be deemed a flood zone, causing their insurance rates to rise.

New flood maps for the area were approved earlier this year. Board Attorney John Lamar said that someone needed to follow up with MDOT, to be sure that the study was completed in a timely manner and the problem was solved before another flood occurred.

To that end, the board voted to authorize Lamar and county engineer Larry Britt to make contact with MDOT. District Two Supervisor Mike Campbell added that he would contact the Army Corps of Engineers, which owned land surrounding Golden Pond, to see if they could help the flooding from further upstream.

Another water situation, this time of a less-controversial nature, was also brought to the board's attention.

Tate County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Janie Mortimer brought Larry Jarrett and Andrew Whitehurst to the meeting to discuss the Scenic River Program and the DeSoto County Greenways Project.

Whitehurst, who works for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, asked board members for their support for a multi-year process which would introduce the Coldwater River into the Scenic River Program. The designation would encouage private landowners along the river to use "best management practices" to protect the riverbanks and help prevent sediment from flowing into the water.

According to Whitehurst, the designation takes two bills, introduced in two different legislative years, to attain. He also said, in response to questions, that duck hunting along the river would not be affected.

Adding the river to the Greenways project, Jarrett said, would allow the area to be marketed for eco-tourism. Kayakers and canoeists would be encouraged to make trips down the river.

Although some were concened about the kayakers' effect on crappie fishermen on the river, board members expressed support for both projects.

All board members were present for the meeting.