Response to residents has been foul

Published 12:06am Thursday, April 10, 2014

Something smells in Concordia Parish’s Washington Heights neighborhood, and the aroma is only partly caused by the raw sewage that has been tormenting the residents for months.

Town, parish and state agencies rarely agree on controversial matters. In this case, however, they all acknowledge the problem, but thus far no one has stepped up and offered leadership on how to help resolve the health hazard.

Instead, each agency seems to hold their nose and look the other way.

For months, residents in the Washington Heights subdivision, located in Concordia Parish between Ferriday and Clayton, have complained about sewage backing up into the neighborhood.

Despite pleas for help, no one has.

The apparent owner of the sewer lines, the neighborhood’s original developer, is missing in action.

His absence has sent subdivision residents to meetings of the Ferriday Board of Aldermen and Concordia Parish Police Jury, begging for help.

In addition, residents have sent letters to state leaders and agencies, including the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Public Health. Each agency shows modest concern, but suggests someone else must resolve it.

If a health hazard exists, the onus should be on the parish and the state to clean it up — or demand those responsible to do so. If the rightful owner cannot be found, are parish and state governments truly impotent to help?

We think they could do more, however, their continued inaction stinks.