Future Of Jackson County Industrial Pipeline Up In The Air

Jackson County's rivers are some of the areas best natural resources for power. That's why the Board of Supervisors started a project 10 years ago to pump water through pipelines to major industries and encourage growth.

But with only the first phase complete, and the bonds that paid for the project maturing, current supervisors want action.

"Time is of the essence, Jackson County Supervisor Frank Leach said.  "This thing has drug and drug on as far as I'm concerned and we need to move."

Right now the water pipeline runs to Plant Daniel. Future plans call for the pipe to run south down Highway 63 and maybe even to the Naval station. But all those plans were put on hold in February by the Board to find out if this project is worth the price tag.

"In the first 10 years of this project, the situation has changed," Tim Broussard said.  "As a new board, we want to go back and make sure we are getting exactly what we need."

To find out what the county needs, supervisors called together several agencies from the state and the EPA for answers. After a two-hour meeting, supervisors decided to conduct a study on all environmental and economic impacts of the pipeline.

"There are a lot of choices we don't know about," Broussard said.  "That's why I'm interested in this study so we can go out and see what's available to us.

For now, the Board wants to appoint someone to study as soon as possible and hopes to get the results within a year.