Picayune neighbors try to block sand-blasting plant

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 3 at 8:00 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

 A Mississippi neighborhood is hoping that a court protects them from a sand-blasting plant because they say they're elected leaders won't.

Homeowner Brenda Rody said, "To them, it's all about money, it's nothing about doing their job protecting the citizens."

Ravenwood subdivision has always had flooding issues, but now, homeowners fear it'll get worse because of the plant, which will prepare sand for the oil industry to use in drilling projects.

Resident Kimberly Jacobs said, "Basically turning us into a bigger island, now we've got a dam or a levee that's going to protect them and sacrifice us in the process."

The neighborhood says their pleas to city and county officials, as well as state and federal agencies, have fallen on deaf ears, but city leaders say they've heard it all and addressed the concerns.

Picayune Director of Operations Harvey Miller said, "I can sympathize with them but bottom line is we've gotta support business and industry coming in that, really any town in USA, would welcome."

The company working on this site, Alliance, says it has and will continue to be a good neighbor. The company says it's planning to work with the city and county to work on the current drainage issue to prevent any possible problems that neighbors fear. Alliance also says it is already monitoring the water run-off from their property toward the neighborhood.

Facility General Manager Paul DeVille said, "We are willing to listen to the citizens and their concerns and it's my job as the general manager of the facility to make sure we are not impacting the community, only in a positive way."

The neighborhood has taken it's fight to court and says standing up for themselves has taken a toll on their stance in the community.

Rody said, "The other residents that doesn't live in Ravenwood think we're holding back jobs. It's been rough, it's hard to go shopping or do any business in the town because of this problem."

The neighbors say they will file a new lawsuit in federal court in a few weeks. One is already circulating through district court.

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