Friday, August 21, 2009

LTE ~ Richton Salt Dome Project

Don’t trade our river and our Gulf for 10 days of oil

It seems that politicians in Perry County and Washington are hell-bent on destroying our Pascagoula River system. I can’t understand why the DOE wants to spend $2 billion to $4 billion to store 10 days worth of oil. What good will 10 days of oil do us in a world war? The refineries will not be operational to refine it into gas or diesel, so what’s the point? Besides, we’re broke!

If Richton wants this oil project, let them mine, then pile that salt in their city or county so it can destroy their property, not our river and gulf. I’ll bet they don’t want all that salt contaminating their farmland, just as we don’t want it contaminating our river and gulf.

Right now the Obama administration has stopped new drilling, and oil is being stockpiled by companies until they get the price back up. So why is the DOE going ahead with this? The answer is greed. A select few will get rich off this at the expense of the environment.

I’ve said it before, you can’t eat money and you can’t drink oil. We need the river’s fresh water and the food from the river and gulf more than we need 10 days worth of oil. This project is going to put all this in jeopardy. The depletion of fresh water — 50 million gallons a day — from the river will allow saltwater intrusion to destroy the marshes.

I hope there is enough protest from voters to get this stopped. Use the money for something we need.

In an e-mail, Rep. Gene Taylor says he supports the dome project but doesn’t support the way the water is to be taken from the river nor the dumping of the brine into the Gulf so near shore. He doesn’t address the spill factor that the DOE itself admits. We must band together and get this stopped, please write your representatives and voice your concerns.

C.F. LIGHTSEY

Moss Point

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wicker: Don’t hurt the environment for economic gain

Wicker speaks out against using fresh water from the Pascagoula River for the Richton Salt Dome Project.

Latimer unified against possible highway expansion route

"Latimer appears to be a tight knit community and they speak with a unified voice. And I think they've been very effective in communicating what their concerns are to us," said Steve Twedt, MDOT District Engineer. "We've had some really good feedback from the Latimer community. And we've had a really good turnout for this meeting, and that's what we need. I mean, we really need to hear from the people so that we can find out what their concerns are and get some input on the route selection."

One of those who would be impacted is Jackson County's District 4 Supervisor, Tommy Brodnax. A small piece of his property could be taken if Route C is chosen. Brodnax said he would prefer for Highway 15 to remain where it is today.


Read the rest at WLOX

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

MDOT seeks public opinion on Hwy 15 expansion

Back in the 1960s, when Highway 15 was being built, the project ran out of money and steam and just kind of stopped.

"Highway 15 is supposed to be a continuous route from the Gulf Coast all the way to Tennessee," Twedt said. "Right now, 15 starts at 1-10 and 1-110 and it goes up to Highway 26 and it stops."

Filling that gap left in the sixties, would mean creating a four lane highway that could take as long as ten years to construct. The toughest part is figuring out where to put it while also having the smallest impact on wetlands, forests and humans. That's why they are asking for input.

Option C goes through Jackson, George and Greene Counties into Perry.
This one has a lot of homeowners in Latimer very upset, because a number of homes would have to go.

I went to the meeting last night and I discover that the land along OPTION B was purchased 25 years ago to widen Highway 15 at it's current location.

When they recently received Federal Funding to widen Highway 15 DeSoto National Forest and Camp Shelby demanded they do a new EIS (Environmental Study) because it had been more then 3 years and 25 years ago MDOT failed to get a RECORD OF DECISION. They will get a RECORD OF DECISION this time so whatever route they decide on the Highway will be built there even IF they run out of money and the Highway isn't widened for 10 or 30 years.

This is a FEDERALLY FUNDED PROJECT so I encourage everyone to attend the Town Hall Meeting held by Representative Gene Taylor and ask why our tax money is being wasted on a new EIS? why the original route where land has already been purchased isn't automatically being used? and what will happen to the land purchased 25 years ago and never used if another route is chosen?


Moss Point Town Hall Meeting
Monday, August 17, 2009
Pelican Landing Conference Center
6217 Highway 613
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.



Live oak cut down for new building

Jackson County supervisors decided Monday afternoon to move quickly and get rid of an old Live oak tree that might stand in the way of a new County Services Complex in downtown Pascagoula.

Two supervisors Tuesday said the board acted quickly for fear that someone or a group might take action to save the tree that would halt the building project.


Read the rest in The Sun Herald.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

MDOT will host hearings on highway

On Monday, MDOT environmental engineers and the consultants who developed the routes will meet with the public at the D’Iberville Senior Center, 10450 Lamey Bridge Road, from 4 to 7 p.m. On Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m., they will meet with Latimer residents at the Latimer Community Center, 10908 Daisy Vestry Road.

Latimer has been particularly outspoken against one route that is proposed to go from Interstate 110, just north of I-10, through West Jackson County, to connect with Mississippi 57 just north of Vancleave, where the highways would run combined for 20 miles into Perry County.

Another alternative would be for Mississippi 15 to run north along its current route through a portion of the De Soto National Forest and Camp Shelby and into Perry County. A third route would avoid the complications of running through a military installation and the communities of West Jackson County and still link up with Mississippi 57 at some point.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Widening original route will save homes and expense

A letter by Lily Smith was in today's Sun Herald. Also remember the meeting August 11th at the Latimer Community Center, we need a good turnout so MDOT will know we are serious about not wanting Highway 15 in our community.

Widening original route will save homes and expense

If MDOT will merely widen Mississippi 15 at its current location fewer people will lose their homes. There is a big difference between widening an existing highway and creating a completely new road. Please, people, look at the maps of alternate routes on MDOT’s Web site before making ignorant comments.

Currently most of Mississippi 15 goes through wildlife management areas, so few people will be affected by a widening at its current location. Most homeowners along Mississippi 15 live far enough from the road that they will not lose their homes if it is widened at its current location.

An ignorant post on the comment board saying that residents of Latimer “only like to put a mobile home on their property, and live partly on the government,” couldn’t be further from the truth. The majority of people who live in Latimer live in well-maintained brick houses on which they pay property taxes. Estimated median household income for residents of Latimer in 2007 was $46,951. The estimated median house value in Latimer in 2007 was $124,138.

Also, taking Mississippi 15 through Latimer and connecting it to Mississippi 57 does not give us another evacuation route north. It merely connects Mississippi 15 to an existing route that Coast residents can already use. We evacuated on Highway 57 for Katrina and there was very little traffic, which makes me wonder if all those people who complain about the congestion on U.S. 49 are even willing to use an alternate route. If we do need more routes going north, then widening Mississippi 15 at its current location is the most sensible thing to do.

Thankfully, according to Red Stringfellow with MDOT, the staff is working on another alternative — one that would extend the highway north from I-110, rather than taking it east through Latimer and Jackson County. I commend MDOT for listening to the residents and coming up with an alternative to destroying our homes.

LILY SMITH