The Louisiana Legislative Auditor released a report today (August 28, 2017) that seems to suggest (1) a lot of money has been spent by the Washington Parish Reservoir District Commission with nothing to show for the expenditures, (2) does not have funding to continue, (3) state law prohibits the commission from obtaining land through eminent domain, and (4) the project’s focus on water resources is unnecessary since Washington Parish already has abundant groundwater resources.
The Washington Parish Reservoir District commission has spent more than $3 million on the reservoir project but still has not obtained the necessary permit to begin construction or acquired land rights. The commission has been working to obtain the necessary permits since 2006. Total project costs were estimated 10 years ago at between $27 million and $29 million, not including any environmental mitigation or land acquisition costs.
Auditors noted that the legislature may wish to direct the commission to evaluate the viability of the project, including ways to obtain enough funding for completion, whether or not to revise the scope and design of the project, or whether or not the project should be continued.
Click here to read the press release and get the link to the full report.