Letter to Editor: Delbert Hosemann Should Be ‘Highly Recommended’ for Protecting Schools’

Natchez, Miss. (Natchez Democrat) –

Secretary of state Delbert Hosemann should be highly recommended for taking the initiative to have Mississippi sue the federal government on behalf of state schools systems with public school lands adjacent to the Mississippi River that is flooded for long periods of time, thus preventing timber harvesting and oil and gas exploration and production.

There are also many private lands, which are affected. Land owners, timber companies, oil and gas operators, soybean farmers and employees at those entities, and royalties of owners and investors are cut off from income that is important to them.

In addition, the state loses thousands of dollars in severance taxes and state income taxes. And the federal government loses huge amounts of federal income taxes because of income losses due to the flooding. 

As a landowner affected by the Mississippi River flooding, I know that I’ve also had relief by federal government action. Perhaps all flooded Mississippians should form an association, i.e., Flooded Mississippians Association, and attempt to join secretary Hosemann’s suit as a friend of the court, or perhaps file our own lawsuit.

This flooding has gone on way too long. It’s time to demand relief from the federal government, which would also benefit from eliminating the problem.

There is at least one remedy that could be used immediately. There are several spillways that could be opened. The Corps of Engineers does not want to open them, and do so only on rare occasions.

These spillways were paid for by taxpayer funds and I believe that Louisiana owners of property on which the spillways are located are paid lease money to refrain from putting buildings, cattle or crops on the land.

For whatever their reasons, perhaps it should at least be explored as to finding ways to implement use of the spillways. On one occasion the spillway gate located in LaPlace, Louisiana, was opened and the water was off of our place in three days.

It was reported in the news that the river knocked it open, but a Corps of Engineers colonel assured me that the Corps had opened it.

A more long-term solution would include dredging, and perhaps some levees on the Mississippi side of the river.

 We need to find the answers and then get it done.

Claiborne P. Hollis,

Natchez resident

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