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Private industry could hold drainage key

Plans to plug age-old drainage problems in Concordia Parish might hold water yet.

A proposal to fund drainage structures on Black River Lake and Brushy Bayou using taxpayer dollars failed to gather needed voter support in December.

But police jurors have maintained that the proposed plan is the best one to heal drainage wounds. They just need money, jurors say.

The missing money — which won’t be coming from the voters — could now come from private industry, parish leaders said last week.

Involved parties need to present their plans to the private sector and see if they’ll bite.

And they might.

Drainage has caused significant hardship time and again in the parish. It’s still difficult to believe that voters rejected a millage that would have supported a solution to the problem.

But taxpayers expressed worry that the plan on the table wouldn’t work. Others felt the money could be obtained from other sources — including the taxes they already pay. Still others balked at the idea that the tax would exist in perpetuity.

If jurors, drainage committee members and parish leaders hope to rally support from the private sector, they must remember the concerns of the voters and be prepared to convince industries that the taxpayers’ worries were false.

Otherwise, what jurors say is a good plan might continue to collect dust on the shelf — at least until the next good rain.