TOLEDO BEND CITIZENS’ ADVISORY COMMITTEE’S

REVIEW OF MEETING CYPRESS BEND 1-12-12

 

At the highly publicized SRA Louisiana Public Hearing and special Board of Commissioners' meeting last night Executive Director Jim Pratt opened the session with a recommendation to the Board that the pending Water Reservation and Sale Agreement between the SRA of Louisiana and Toledo Bend Partners, L.P. and out-of-state water sales consideration, be suspended until a comprehensive water plan for the State of Louisiana has been developed.  Director Pratt also informed the Board that more than 380 comments were submitted to SRA LA with only 7 responses stating support for the sale of water outside Louisiana.  The recommendation was unanimously approved by the Board.

The meeting, held at Cypress Bend Resort, was very well attended, and although an official count of the crowd has not yet been released by the SRA, it appeared that over 400 people were there.  Senator Gerald Long addressed the crowd immediately after the Board's vote to suspend the agreement and thanked everyone for their efforts.  Sen. Long is Chairman of the state senate's Natural Resources Committee which will have significant input into the future development of the state's surface water management plan.  Sen. Long also indicated that any future development and/or negotiations regarding a water sale agreement by the SRA would include a "blue ribbon" group of citizen stakeholders including representatives from industry, government, businesses and residents.

The SRA did not comment on, nor answer any of the questions posed by those who submitted their concerns in writing other than Mr. Pratt's summary of the categories the public comments centered around.  Based on a Shreveport KTBS TV news release, the SRA received 386 comments concerning the out of state water sales agreement. Seven were in support of it and 379 were against it. Various reasons for opposing were as follows: Lake Level - 240; Length of Contract - 106; Drought Contingency - 58; Why sell to Texas/Keep in Louisiana - 48; Public Distrust/Ethics - 39; Stop Generation - 31; Property values Decrease - 28; Who Gets Money? - 23; Future Water Rate - 8; Build Pipeline from Red River - 1; Build Saltwater Barrier - 1.

We (TBCAC) wish to thank all of you who provided comments and attended the Public Hearing.  We believe water sales from Toledo Bend can be a win-win situation if done in the best interests of all.

John Toliver
TBCAC Secr./Treas.
1886 Queens Road
Many, LA 71449
318-256-2401