Monday, July 13, 2009

Lily Smith ask Is no place safe from MDOT’s bulldozer?

This was in The Sun Herald's July 13th, Letters to the Editor

Is no place safe from MDOT’s bulldozer?

I am writing this on behalf of my parents. They have lived in the Latimer Community their whole lives. As a young married couple they purchased land and built a house which they now own outright. Their home, like many others in the Latimer Community, survived Katrina with no damage. They should be able to enjoy their golden years in the home that holds so many warm memories for them. But MDOT is threatening to destroy their home with its relocation of Miss. 15, a relocation that is unnecessary and uncalled for.

Those on the Mississippi Gulf Coast who wish to evacuate using Miss. 57 can do so now by merely getting on the interstate or on U.S. 90 and getting off at Miss. 57 and heading north. There is no need to bulldoze people’s homes in order to tie Miss. 15 in to Miss. 57. This does not actually give us another evacuation route north. One has to wonder if the real drive to bulldoze people’s homes is in order to get visitors who travel to the Gulf Coast via Miss. 57 to the casinos faster.

It is also ironic that MDOT has to ask permission to use land already owned by the government but is free to take private citizens’ homes. And it is unconscionable that when there are so many homeless in Jackson County, MDOT wishes to create even more homeless citizens. My parents are retired and on a fixed income, there is no way they will be able to start over somewhere else on the pittance MDOT will give them for the land they will take if this highway relocation goes through. Let’s put a stop to MDOT’s continual land-grabbing.

LILY SMITH

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