Levee Board Declines State Adding Members Bill - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Levee Board Declines State Adding Members Bill

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By David Kenney - bio | email

Members of the Rankin-Hinds Pearl river levee board say they don't need help from the state in deciding on a long-term flood control plan.

During their meeting Monday morning, board members voted to send lawmakers a letter saying they opposed a house bill designed to add five new members to their board.

Board member Leland Speed was the only one in favor of the larger board. He says they will need support from people who could help secure state funding for a Lefluer Lakes plan, that he still supports.

Last month board members voted to go with a levees only plan, which in sense killed John McGowan's Lefluer Lakes plan that would have included waterfront development.  McGowan says his plan could pay for itself through economic development.

Flowood Mayor Gary Rhodes says, "I'll be glad to see when involvement comes from the state for flood protection, right now we've been protecting the state fairgrounds for 35 years and never received a penny."

As the meeting wrapped up, Rhodes requested Speed step down from the board. He argued Speed has too much to gain financially by being a board member, and that is a violation of ethics.

Speed responded saying he only owned a small sliver of land near the levees, and that he would be willing to hand over any land deeds he owned, that would put him in violation.

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