Governor brings hope and more questions to Bayou Corne
BAYOU CORNE,LA — Bayou Corne residents finally saw some relief Tuesday March 19. They got a chance to meet face to face with the governor in Bayou Corne. Residents told the governor about the frustrations since a sinkhole formed more than seven months ago.
“I’m glad he is here,” Nick Romero, Bayou Corne resident, said. “I guess the biggest thing is to make sure he provide all of the support to the state agencies, so that they do their job.”
They are still scared the governor won't be able to solve their problems.
“Texas Brine kind of back talked on him, kind of lied to him,” Ernest Boudreaux, Jr., Bayou Corne resident, explained. “I’m kind of wondering what he expects them to do with us. They are not going to tell us no more truth than they did with him.”
The governor spent 30 minutes meeting with families.
“Frustration their lives have been interrupted by something they didn't cause to happen,” Governor Bobby Jindal,(R-La), said. “They simply want Texas Brine to make it right so this can all be done. So, they can have the great lives they had before this all started.”
The governor told resident Texas Brine keeps missing deadlines and he's had enough.
“The state hasn't gotten paid for their expenses and my question is if they won't pay the state how do we expect to get a fair offer,” Romero described.
The governor says he won't stop until every family gets a fair offer.
"We contend we do have the authority to make them come back and do those things. We are going to hold their feet to the fire. We're going to hold them accountable," Jindal explained.
Now it's up to Texas Brine to step up.
“The real proof is how many people actually accept the offer that they make,” Jindal said.
"It's pretty much up to Texas Brine. What kind of card are they going to play," Boudreaux explained.
The governor says so far 56 families in Bayou Corne have signed up for the first step of Texas Brine's buyout plan.
People living in Bayou Corne also got a chance to grill Texas Brine officials at community meeting Tuesday night in Assumption Parish.
They wanted to know more about how the company plans on buying out their homes. They asked tons of questions, but Texas Brine's lawyer couldn't give any answers.
The community is worried the company won't live up to its promises.
"We didn't do anything to deserve,” Carla Alleman, Bayou Corne resident, explained. “This why shouldn't we be able to have what we worked for our entire lives we're not rich people. We work. We bought what we had, and we want it again.”
Her family worked hard to purchase three acres of land in Bayou Corne, so her two sons could live next to her. Now She says her home is unsafe. She can’t leave the area because of her job. She says there is nothing Texas Brine can do to replace her home. She just wants fair compensation.
"When they [Texas Brine] met with the governor they led the governor to believe that this was going to go smoothly and that they were going to be fair to us. But, as of tonight [Tuesday] there is still so many unknown's they don't know what's going to happen.”
Mike Schaff, Bayou Corne resident, explained, ”They [Texas Brine] got to get out of here we're tired of their nonsense.”
Schaff said the company is not willing to admit they were at fault. He said if they said it was the company’s fault and apologized the process would go much smoother.
Texas Brine officials say they'll start inspecting impacted homes next week.
It’ll be at least thirty days before Texas Brine has decided on a price to pay each resident.