Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Corps wants conflict of interest policy from Levee Board (Video included)

The Rankin-Hinds Levee Board met yesterday. The interesting part starts at the 20:00 mark. The Pearl River Vision Foundation is assisting the Levee Board in developing a "One-Lake" plan to present to the Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg. The draft agreement (not executed yet) states

"at the April 4, 2011 meeting of the District’s Board, PRV proposed to utilize the expertise and services of John McGowan of McGowan Working Partners and several engineering, environmental and legal professionals, with all such services being provided at no cost to the District, as a means to address the District’s desire to complete the flood control project study, and to accomplish this goal by the District authorizing PRV to directly negotiate an updated agreement and FCSA with the Corps. In that regard, PRV would develop a more timely approach, while allowing maximum funding flexibility, or develop alternative procedures which may provide a better process to reach the District’s flood control goals.

WHEREAS, on April 11, 2011, the Board adopted a resolution authorizing PRV, “at no cost to the District, to assist in and represent the District in negotiating a revised agreement with the Corps and developing alternative procedures, which may provide a more innovative process to reach the flood control goals of the Jackson Metropolitan area.

So far so good. However,the Corps requires the Levee Board to adopt a conflict of interest policy. Board attorney Keith Turner (Watkins Ludlam) drafted a proposed policy (posted below) that was the subject of some discussion (The discussion starts at 20:00 and last for about 15 minutes.) as it was questioned whether the proposed policy was too strict. The Board agreed to move forward and revise the proposed policy before its final adoption.

By the way, the phone going off twice was George Smith's. He happened to sit right in front of me. He didn't stick around for questions. ;-)

Here is the PROPOSED policy and agreement between the Levee Board and Pearl River Vision Foundation.


Anonymous said...

Report, video and source documents. JJ makes the C-L and JFP obsolete.

Boarzombie said...

Actually, while not a fan of JFP soft-pedaling Jackson's HUGE crime problem, they do have a nice breakdown of who on the levee board and those that are pushing the LeFleur/Twin/Lone/One Lakes project who own land that would be increased in value by the proposed lake. It's in an old article on the JFP website. Add that to JJ's video coverage and source documents and a picture starts coming into focus....

Kingfish said...

not so fast. What they did NOT report yesterday was Mr. Speed donated his land to Mississippi College.

She also made some smear attacks on Ben Allen for owning land by the area. Let me make one thing clear, unless you actually sell the land, all you get is a higher tax bill. Ben's probably going to be in that house for the rest of his life. So figure that property will go to his family AFTER he goes to the great development in the sky and even then any gain in value will probably be eaten up by estate taxes to some degree.

The fact is, levees-only are not going to work and there is no damn reason, no damn reason at all we can't have a one lake, two lake, or million lake plan that will use the Pearl River to transform the Jackson area and bring some good economic development to the Jackson area that benefits everyone.

Anonymous said...

Take another look at the story BoarZ. It is a guilt-by-McGowan association hit job as they bring up properties that were NEVER going to be lakeside if Two Lakes was built. BTW where is all the JFP hullabaloo now that the levee solution was the only environmentally sound green space approach? A one lake approach may not inundate Le Fleur's Bluff SP but it is still going to put a whole lotta acreage underwater. Oh, that's right. Now the JFP has it figured out that without some lake on the Pearl there will NEVER be an artificial lake downtown. Seen any JFP columns acknowledging the new reality? Of course you haven't.

Boarzombie said...

Wasn't trying to get personal with anybody, KF. I understand their enthusiasm, even if they don't have a personal interest. Every time I go down Pearl Street toward 55 and pass all that swamp on the right I think about how cool it would be to have it developed around the edge, maybe on the bluff (Swamp Walk Mall? Gator Tail Restaurant and Bar?). I mean, if they can float casinos why can't they build commercial mixed use developments that would float if the river got up? I think the river flowing right through the middle of the metro area is a greatly wasted resource for development and coolness in general.

That said, neither levees or the lakes project will stop the next flood when it happens. "Levees only" is a loser idea (you gotta have outlets and floodways) and no lake project can create a basin big enough for all that flood water. And since they extended a levee at the Silas Brown bridge instead of putting the entire bridge on stilts, North Jackson is pretty much screwed anyway when the next water comes like in '79 and '83.

If you're going to use the floodplain for development you need to build stuff that will be up high or will float. Not houses on slabs or strip malls in Flowood (I mean, there's a REASON the town was named "Flo" wood). And that plan has not been made yet -- at least I haven't seen it. The lakes project plan "wows" like harbor walk, but it ain't gonna happen. They need a new smaller plan. The time for a big comprehensive development/flood plan was gone 20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Just remember that the res. has to be a player, or nothing will work.
And don't forget to look at the impacts down stream.

Anonymous said...

Flowood was named in honor of FLOrence UnderWOOD when her husband founded the town.

Boarzombie said...

Not because of all the water that flo's through the woods? Too bad. I should have known that pun was too good to be true. Still, it's an appropriate name for a town built almost entirely on a flood plain (until they started spreading out down 25 about thirty years back).

Anonymous said...

BoarZ you are full of bad information. Learn more about the hydrology of the one lake plan (i.e. Increasing the conveyance of water across an area) before you give your opinion, lest you continue to enjoy being wrong in a public forum.

Boarzombie said...

I know a scary amount about hydrology. Trust me. Nothing's scarier than a Boar Zombie.

And I much prefer to be accidentally wrong about something stupid than purposefully wrong about something important, Anony. So, tell me how I'm wrong, and don't forget to factor in elevations, choke points (with the new land fill ins, not just as it was on the topo map back in the day) and all the rest. And when you're done, go pour a gallon of water into a half gallon jug and tell me how it works out for you.

Neither plan as currently constituted will work for flood control, so everyone needs to stop pretending either will. As for development, I'd prefer to look at a lake than a levee, so that'd get my vote if I had to choose. But don't sell yourself on some dream that either plan as currently constituted would seriously mitigate a '79 or '83 flood. They won't.

Anonymous said...

Mr Scary Boar Zombie,
You fail to mention in your above analogy that the half gallon jug you are referring to has a hole in the bottom (to drain) as well as the rate as to which you pour the water in this half gallon jug (with a drain in it).
You obviously have missed a few facts since you claim to know a “scary amount” about hydrology.

Boarzombie said...

I know a scary amount about everything, anony. I'm a friggin' genius. (That was self-deprecating ironic humor, in case you missed it.)

Were you even around in '79? Do you know how close they were to dynamiting the emergency spillway over on the Rankin County side? You know, the thing they do when the water level gets so high in the Rez that the structural integrity of the dam is endangered? Do you kow how hard Jackson (Dale Danks I believe) begged PRVSD to release less water? And they said "Too bad we have to and, oh by the way, we might be blowing the emergency spillway."

No one will have control of how fast the water is pouring into the jug except GOD. That's the point. It's just gonna come.

And, slightly off the subject, what idiot decided to put a dam and Rez and billions of tons of stored energy ABOVE a city? It's like the makings of a bad 70's disaster movie....

Anonymous said...

... what idiot decided to put a dam and Rez and billions of tons of stored energy ABOVE a city?

Likely the same nimrods who placed major cities all over this nation right smack dab on the banks of major rivers. Out West the cousins of those boobs planted major metropolitan areas on top of earthquake fault lines. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Boarzombie said...

Build on a bluff. How hard is that? My great, great, great, great, great, great granddaddy was Louis LeFleur and even he knew that. He put a trading post on LeFleur's bluff. Vicksburg's on a bluff. Memphis too.

And I can kinda understand that cities just sometimes grow. They just spring up. But somebody had to put that Rez up there above Jacktown -- that was just dumb. And it's not even a flood control or hydroelectric lake, just drinking water and recreational.

Anonymous said...

yeah kinda like new orleans stupid. great idea right?

Anonymous said...

Sure Boar Z, drinking water is highly overated. Very dumb to plan for that, right?

Boarzombie said...

Not at all, 3:23. Plan for it. Drink away. Just plan for it DOWNSTREAM of a city, doofus. What part of the danger of billions of tons of stored energy above a city do you not understand?

Anonymous said...

My great, great, great, great, great, great granddaddy was Louis LeFleur and even he knew that.

I'm Reggie Jackson. I used to play baseball. My close friends call me Mr. October.

Boarzombie said...

Half the people in Mississippi are related to Louis LeFleur, even the Guv. LLF had four wives (official and unofficial) and a passel of kids. It ain't no great feat.

Now, being Reggie Jackson....That's pretty cool.

Anonymous said...


The idiot woman at the JFP used scare tactics, saying the lakes would be built on the backs of the landowners as their taxes would be raised. The point she MISSED was YES taxes would go up, as property values would go up. This is A GOOD THING.

Economic real estate facts to renters is a tough sell.

Kingfish said...

I know its a good thing. I just don't think she understands the concept of unrealized or unrecognized capital gains. Until he sells it, he is simply paying more taxes.

Anonymous said...

And glad to do it. Period.

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