Concerned citizen from Delcambre, Henry, Forked Island, Erath and Abbeville, gathered at the Abbeville library to attend the first-ever public input meeting. The meeting was a chance for parish citizens to suggest to the Police Jury as to where they want to spend $8 million the Police Jury will be in charge of distributing to those affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The money will be handed down from the federal government sometime in the summer.
The citizens were also given a suggestion form to fill out either right after the meeting or they could drop it off to the Police Jury office in the courthouse days later.
A handful of citizens went to a microphone to voice their opinion to the Police Jury.
Calvin Broussard, who lives in Abbeville near Pine Street, is worried that his neighborhood will flood even more now that Lowes is next door. He wants the Police Jury to consider levees around his neighborhood to stop the flooding especially when it rains.
“It is like living in New Orleans,” Broussard said. “We need some help and we are asking someone to give us help.”
Peter Jabia of Delcambre is in search of more money. He lives in a brick house and can not afford the $100,000-plus that it will cost to raise.
“Why can’t we get 100 percent elevation money,” said Jabia.
Not everyone wanted the money to be used for elevating. Others wanted the $8 million to go towards building a levee to protect the parish. A levee would help more homes.
Others wanted a buyout program for people who did not want to move back into their flooded homes.
Boni Suire, who lives south of Erath, has flooded three times since 1984. The third time was the charm for Hurricane Ike. He and his wife moved out. He said he was in favor of the buyout problem.
This was the first of a handful of meetings that the Police Jury will be having with the public about there thoughts on where to spend meeting.