Private neighborhoods left out of debris cleanup in St. Tammany

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wwltv.com

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 20 at 11:27 PM

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

ST. TAMMANY, La. -- Debris pick-up on the Northshore has been in full force for weeks.

But some private subdivisions in St. Tammany Parish haven’t seen any of it, so the piles keep growing.

For many, the stacks are delaying efforts to move on from the storm, and the parish says, unfortunately, there’s nothing it can do to help neighborhoods without public streets.

“Private subdivisions are, by their very definition, private property, and as you know, it is illegal for a government to use government funds and equipment to do any work on private property regardless of the reason," said parish spokeswoman Suzanne Parsons Stymiest.

The parish has asked FEMA to break that rule and be allowed to pick up the leftover piles. FEMA is working with the parish and the state to determine if the request qualifies.

“First we need permission from FEMA. Then we have to set up private property removal agreements. Then we have to set up perhaps right of entry agreements and then the process would begin," Stymiest said.

People say regardless of whose fault it is, this situation shouldn’t be happening.

"We're taxpayers," said Eileen Fenger. "There's got to be something that this goes for. Our taxes have to support some help from the government."

While the request is being considered, subdivisions are being advised to come up with their own plans.

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