Bayside Park Neighbors Tired Of Man-Made Swamp - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/15/05

Bayside Park Neighbors Tired Of Man-Made Swamp

"This area here, it always stays wet and soggy. All year round, even when there is no rain. There's a drought, but this is wet constantly," Bayside Park Resident Denise Durbin says.

Durbin says over the past three years, the standing water has crept closer to her house.

"It started off a whole lot back, 50 feet, 100 feet back. Now, it's like 20 feet from my house."

She worries about the safety of her 8-year-old daughter and the other neighborhood children.

"We shouldn't have to live in an environment where that stands there constantly. We pay taxes. We'd like it to be a safe area for our children to play."

Neighbors share similar concerns.

"My 3-year-old son, he found a dead bird out here in the yard and I'm scared that he's going to get West Nile from the dead birds that he keeps finding out here," Kayla White said.

Amanda Guill echoed her words.

"There's been a poisonous dead snake we found in the road, I know had to come out of there."

People in the area say they've tried for two years to get county leaders to fix the problem, with no luck. Now, the county's Road Maintenance Superintendent, Roger Ladner, says help is on the way.

"The culvert is stopped up and the ditch is stopped up. Someone has put a bank on their ditch and stopped it up, and we've got to get in there and unstop it."

Ladner says to fix the problem, county workers will have to go on private property. To do that, the county had to obtain easement access permission from a dozen homeowners. Ladner says many of the property owners live out of town, and it's taken a year to get enough to begin the work.

"We've got about a half mile of ditching to do to get the water out of the neighborhood."

That work is set to begin Monday.

by Al Showers

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