Wednesday, January 18, 2006

You mean the coast isn't booming yet? Surprise. Surprise. Surprise.

If you happen to listen to any of the state agency heads brief lawmakers at the Capitol, you would hear about how great of a job everyone on the coast is doing and how far we've come.

And true, a lot of improvement has been made. But it is far from time to be patting everyone on the back like the cronies of the Barbour Administration have done. A group of Congressmen saw that firsthand yesterday.
Coast progress disappoints - The Clarion-Ledger:
"What strikes me is how much work needs to be done," he said. "I thought I'd see a lot more going up. I guess I expected to see more rebuilding occurring."Lieberman said he regretted not returning to the area sooner and vowed to improve the process.
Of course, there is more than just debris removal. What happens when the debris is gone and people are charged with the task of rebuilding their homes?
Coast progress disappoints - The Clarion-Ledger:
Other witnesses, including U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, who lost his Bay St. Louis home in the storm, told the committee that insurance caps in the National Flood Insurance Program should be lifted. They also said all insured coastal homeowners who lived outside flood zones but whose houses flooded should qualify for federal block grants. The money shouldn't only be reserved for people whose homes sustained a certain percentage of damage.

"A senior citizen on a fixed income who got 3 feet of water, at the very least, had $50,000 in damage," Taylor said. "That may not be 50 percent of the total value. But that's a lot of money. We need to be helping everyone."
Don't worry. The casinos and businesses are going to be OK, and that's important. We must have a business community. But if the Barbour Administration and the Republican leadership in Congress continue to largely ignore the residential sector of the coast, then the business community will have no one to serve.


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