Letter to the Editor

11/02/2019

Letter to the Editor,

I write this letter not knowing where else to turn. The roads in Natchitoches Parish are in deplorable condition, particularly in my area Hart Road (Par. Rd. 317), Pardee Road (Par. Rd. 319) and Sandy Point Road. There are so many potholes in the roads that drivers are veering into homeowners yards to navigate around them. Traveling from my home back to Hwy 9 would normally take 3 to 5 minutes, but now it takes at least fifteen minutes. This is due to the roads falling into a horrendous state of repair. The school buses have a difficult time traveling their routes and a neighbor was told by Fedex that a package could not be delivered for several days due to the road conditions. Many vehicles have suffered tires, shocks & front end damage, including mine.

We love this area with its scenic beauty, excellent fishing, wildlife, and great neighbors. We bought a nice home here in Natchitoches Parish several years ago and moved here permanently this past year. The horrid road conditions are causing concern for me and our neighbors about property values decreasing in an otherwise positive real estate market. Our taxes are high and yet our roads have deteriorated significantly in the past twelve months.

We have called the Parish Council-Public Works Department numerous times in the past nine months to alert them of particularly dangerous potholes. Those that answer the phones have been nice and occasionally sent crews out to apply a cold patch or place a gravel/concrete dust mixture but those temporary fixes rarely last more than a few weeks. We have asked to speak with someone in the Public Works Department or Parish Council and been told that someone would return our call. No one has yet returned our phone calls. Recently some neighbors have helped by taking their personal tractors to smooth areas just to make the roads passable. Some have place concrete blocks & logs into deeper potholes.

Two churches in our area, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church and Family Worship Center have seen positive growth this year. However, due to the roads diminishing so significantly in the past nine months that now parishioners are having a difficult time just getting to church. We have spoken to many families and lay leaders in both churches and all the leaders are very concerned with this problem. Also the roads leading to the public boat landings on Westwind and Sandy Point Road are in such poor condition that fewer and fewer fisherman/sportsman and their families are coming to the lake because they are afraid of damage to their vehicles, boats and trailers. The road conditions are definitely causing economic problems for the restaurants on Hwy 9 with reduced visitors to our beautiful parish. Something must be done! Who in our parish government will be held accountable?

Debbie, Campti, LA


The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.

41 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor

  1. Another reason to have a parish/city consolidated government like Lafayette. It seems to be working there. Of course a few folks might have to find other work because a lot of positions would be combined; mayor/president, city/parish council, sheriff/police department, staffing in parish/city offices, etc, etc.

    • The city government does what wants to no matter how the people want are don’t want. The police jury works most everywhere else and so does the HRC! SO is it the form of government or the people running it?

  2. Get rid of the mayor and city council. They continue to spend money the city does not have. Then to make up for it they want to anex parish tax dollars into the city to cover the expenses. A lot of people thinks Sylvia morrow is crazy. Well you really need to stand behind her when it’s comes to the mayor and ex mayor. Just think if the business on I49 were still in the parish and not annexed into the city , all the taxes that are generated would go to Parish roads.

    • well said .but why hide your name if you believe what you say ?
      Morrow is nuts and so is the mayor for building this stupid park.

  3. THE MAIN PROBLEM IN THE CITY OF NATCHITOCHES IS THAT EVERY DIME THE CITY GETS GOES TO MAKE DOWN TOWN A PLACE FOR THE VISITORS , THEY NO LONGER CAR FOR THE REST OF THE CITY , AND HAVE NOT FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS EVER SEB=NCE JOE SAMPITE ‘ WAS MAYOR. THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT DOWN TOWN AND NOTHING ELSE OF NORTHWESTER STATE. DOWN TOWN IS NOT NATICHITOCHES THE CITY LIMITS IS MORE THAN DOWN TOWN. UNTIL NATCHITOCHES GET RID OF THE HUMDRUM PEOPLE RUNNING THE CITY IT WILL NEVER CHANGE!!!!!!!!!! THEY CLAIMED AT ONE TIME IT WAS THE RETIREMENT CITY AND THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE , MIGHT HAVE BEEN AT ONE TIME BUT NO MORE. I KNOW FORM FIRST HAND ABOUT THE CITY AND THE WAY IT WORKS.! UNTIL THERE IS A REAL HONEST PERSON WHO REALLY CARES ABOUT THAT CITY IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHEN THE POLICE JURY MANY MOONS AGO HAD EQUIPMENT IN EACH DISTRICT THINGS WERE BETTER. NOW THE PARISH PLAN OWN NOTHING AND WELL THEY NEED TO GET BACK INTO TAKING CARE OF EACH DISTRICT AND STOP PAYING OUR ALL THE MONEY FOR SALARIES AND EXPENCE OTHER THAN TAKING CARE OF THE PARISH. AND ITS PEOPLE. WHEN A SCHOOL BUS OR A MAIL CARRIER CAN NOT DO THEIR JOB THEN THE PARISH GOCERNMENT NEEDS TO RESIGN EVERY LAST PERSON AND TURN THE WHOLE THING OVER TO STATE ROADS. IN THE BEGINNING ROADS WERE MADE TO DELIVER THE MAIL AND WERE CALLED POST ROADS , THAT HISTORY !!!!!!! SO IF GOVERNMENT MONEY HAS BEEN SENT TO DO ROADS WHERE IS T BEING SPENT. ? I WOUKLD LOVE TO SEE AND AUDIT OF THE PARISH GOVERNMENT FOR EVERY LAST PENNY THAT HAS BEEN SPENT. AND WHERE IT WAS USED.WE THE PEOPLE OF OUR STATE LOCAL AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEE WHERE EVERY LAST PENNY HAS BEEN SPENT AND WHY!!!!!!!! ITS OUR RIGHT SO WHY NOT ASK FOR IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! ESP WHEN THERE IS A NEW GOVERNMENT COMES INTO OFFICE THIS MONTH!!!!!

    • All locals now this is true that front street is the golden child of the city.
      Look how bad Keyser is and South drive was,how can you expect people to get off 49 onto crappy roads entering front street its crazy,All roads leading to front street are crap !

  4. I am all for paying to have better roads, but if we paid into a line item for road repair in the parish budget, how could I be sure there would not be a secret meeting with the parish president, head of some department, parish treasurer and purchasing agent who decide in that closed door secret meeting to take the money I paid into a fund for one thing and use it for something else. It might be an emergency, but once someone says that it has to stay in that room and can’t get out, those people are lying to us. They are pulling the wool over our eyes so that they know what is going on, but we don’t have a clue. If they do this, have they done something in the past that might be worse that this. Too many questions in my mind now. I don’t trust any of these people and personally think some terminations are called for. They might have, in their own minds, thought they were doing good, but my guess is that every person in that room knew they were doing things the wrong way and if things got out of the room, there would be consequences, and there should be consequences. So I guess their intent was to repair roads and it was an emergency. Tell me please, whose road was picked for repair?

  5. I’m all for having a parish library. But if you can’t get to it(without tearing up car) then what good is it. Priorities people. Roads before library , cane river waterway, etc…

  6. is there any money to paint pot holes neon or put solar lights in them
    to see at night ? Hwy 6 west is god awful !

  7. I have called numerous times about Harmony Rd and Tom Brister Rd and no one has called me back either. We are also having repairs to our vehicles due to condition of our roads.

  8. In other words, as long as the one doing the recording is in the room, is a party to the conversation, it is perfectly legal to record the conversation, with or without the knowledge of the others. Should the one doing the recording leave the room, it is illegal for him to leave his recorder running recording the conversation to which he is no longer a party.

  9. these aren’t politicians just good ole boys helping family or buddys and
    pocketing money.I say start sending repair bills to the city .

    • The good ol boy system is what got us here and neither JR or LW was part of it. I remember under the Police Jury system the juror would bring in roads for their friends that should have never been in the system. Two or Three miles of road with 2 families living on it. I don’t want my tax money going to pave their rode, no one uses it but 2 cars. So we have previous Police Jurors to thank for blowing the federal money, which we no longer get, and not planning for the future and the best for the parish.

  10. Georg

    The sadist thing
    was to go to this Parish President rule, roads are forgotten political pockets are the main stream. Bought a piles of road material and no plans for use. The material will all be carted off for private use

  11. I second Bobby. And other parishes/counties seem to be able to figure it out. Maybe it’s just harder here in Natchitoches???

  12. Hey Steve. Here’s a thought! Blanchard road is connected to Keyser Avenue. And you can’t drive down it without tearing your car up. It’s not 20 minutes from town. And it’s heavily populated with tax payers. What’s your theory there?????

  13. The biggest millage tax goes to the Federal Cane River Waterway!!! Which their board gives to the CITY of Natchitoches to use to increase their tax revenue! !!! This is were your road money is ! Why are the two candidates afraid to rock that Boat! why keep pushing the public Library( which actually helps many people) provides a much greater service.

    Here’s a crazy idea, lets all just fix our own roads however we can, file the holes with concrete, ash rock whatever. Then send an invoice to the City of Natchitoches, which gets all the parish tax revenue anyway.

    Or maybe beg and lobby the Cane River Waterway to make a road fund to fix parish roads that border the river. This would take some of the load of the parish.

    Or lets pass a parish ordinance where by those citizens impacted can legally grow pot to fund the pothole crisis!! HA!!

  14. This is just a thought. Maybe don’t live in the middle of nowhere and expect beautifully maintained roads??? Granted, Natty roads do suck, but in the areas that are well populated, they are usually okay. These giant pothole pics are taken 20 or 30 miles out of town. When you have a house or 2 every half mile, what do you expect? Living in the middle of nowhere, you should assume that the roads will suck, that you will be the last to get power turned back on, that police or fire will take some time to get to you. It’s kind of common sense.

    • Not true sir. You do not have to go very far at all outside of the city limits. Within 5-7 miles. Take a trip down Posey road or Shady Grove sometime. Very well populated areas that most people moved to during a time when the roads were well maintained. Now they are filling potholes with dirt and dust or grinding the once well paved roads back to dirt instead of repairing. With all due respect, you really do not know what you are talking about.

    • Steve Johnson, that is the most gratuitous, condescending, statement I have read in a long time!! Where I choose to live or others is our prerogative and none of your business!! Doesn’t matter where we live…decent roads should not be considered a luxury for those of us that live in the less populated areas and they are not an entitlement for those living in more populated areas! I suggest you get down off of that high horse you are, quit hiding behind a pseudonym, and zip it !! Be a part of the solution, rather than a problem!!

    • Or drive down Williams Ave. it doesn’t matter where you live, the roads are awful. Hard to believe the conditions of the roads in a town as beautiful as Natchitoches.

  15. I have lived in Natchitoches for 20 years and during that time the roads have steadily worsened. This isn’t a new problem.Trying to repair years of neglect is going to take time and money. The most work I’ve seen happening is this year & I personally believe John Richmond is the man who getting things done… or at least working with what he’s got. I’m sure if we had several million dollars passed our way in funding, more would get done.

    If I neglected my house the way our officials have neglected our roads, it would be condemned… And the repair would cost much more than if I would have handled the issues when they 1st came up.

    We all want our roads repaired and repaired correctly… Blame never propels anyone into the right direction!

  16. We’re going to actually have to cut funding to some areas that we can live without for several years. For example…. the library gets 2-3 times more money dedicated to it than our roads do. That makes sense though?!?!

    • Faye is completely right. We voted on a library tax. Yet no one wants to vote in favor of a roads tax, or wants their property taxes increased to help fund the roads. Stop targeting the library. Even if the library taxes were eliminated tomorrow, there still wouldn’t be a tax for the roads because nobody can get it together to vote for it, and elected officials can’t get it together to fix them.

  17. Maybe if people get angry enough about the road situation they will listen to reason and finally pass a tax to pay for road repairs. There is currently not enough money to make up for the many years of neglect. It’s great to say you want to rededicate money from other accounts, but that takes voter approval and would still not be enough to get all the needed work done.

    To address John’s comments above, I agree that recent coverage of the lawsuit has been biased. Instead of presenting both sides of the argument and letting readers make up their minds, this publication has used biased wording to influence opinions. That is not ethical behavior for reporting the news and I have been disappointed that this happened. Most people are smart enough to be presented with the facts and form a reasonable conclusion.

  18. Taxes are not high enough is why the roads in the parish are so bad. We pay very low taxes compared to other states and our roads rural roads show it. We can blame whoever we want, but until we step up and vote for a little but more money to go into the local coffers, we will have to put up with the potholes whenever it rains!

    • The problem with that is that the homestead exemption leaves many paying little or nothing. No matter how high you raise the property tax rate, they will still pay little or nothing. The burden of paying for roads should be shared by everyone. The exemption should apply to the second $75k

  19. No so Matt. Louisiana’s Electronic Surveillance Act bars the recording, interception, use or disclosure of any oral or telephonic communication by means of any mechanical or electronic device without the consent of at least one party to the conversation. … All of us are subject to being recorded without our knowledge at any time.

  20. I thought that last photo was Blanchard Road!! It’s bad. They waste money patching the holes because they open back up in a matter of weeks!!

    • Truth. My granddaughter lives off Collins Rd. Everytime I go to their home I am afraid it’s going to tear my car up. These houses are nice hiuses payinf taxes on well over $75k. All they do is patch which leads to anothe bump or it fails. This is within 5 miles of Natchitoches, not 20 miles out.

  21. I am amazed that home sales haven’t plummeted or even rose do to roads,people not wanting to come here or just leave.

  22. I hate the conditions of our roads. They are the result of the following:
    1. 30+ years of neglect and under funding.
    2. A government that continues to complain, but does not work to correct the problem.
    3. Dedicating parish tax $$$ everywhere EXCEPT to our crumbling infrastructure.
    4. Lawsuits (and threats) from people who would rather stick their head in the sand than admit that our roads are in a state of EMERGENCY.
    5. A media outlet that spends more rime attempting to control and manipulate, than to truthfully inform.

    The people of Natchitoches Parish deserve better. They deserve a government that strives to make Natchitoches Parish better for ALL residents, not just the few that fund the chaos, or the media outlet that fuels the fires of misinformation.

    Sincerely,
    John Richmond
    #83, Candidate for Parish Presdient

    • John Richmond TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR FAILURES! It is your responsibility to make sure our roads are taken care of. The writer of this letter states EVEN YOU FAILED TO RETURN HER CALL. DON’T deviate from the problem this writer and the majority of Natchitoches Parish residents are having to have a REASON TO CONDEMN A NEWSPAPER you are out of sorts with. GROW UP you’re not in high school anymore.

      • Debbie & Linda,

        My question to you is. How do you suggest to allocate the road funds? The 3 roads you have mentioned in your letter contribute a very small amount to the road fund. Very little property is over the homestead exemption.

        The road situation is what it is because of years of neglect in this Parish and the unwillingness of individuals to pay more in property taxes for their roads.

        There are lots of roads in the Parish, if more is spent on a road than what is collected on that road then some other road will get less.

        What is your solution?

        Jimmy

  23. very well said and polite but people around here should be
    angry as all get up.City council doesn’t care,parish,state all they want to
    do his fight or pass the blame or secretly record each other (isn’t that illegal) ?
    I have told my police friends I would take a ticket for swerving to miss a pot hole then to do more damage to my vehicle because of one.

      • It’s actually not as long as someone involved in the conversation is recording it. It would however be illegal to plant a microphone in a room that the person recording isn’t in.

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