Texas Brine to offer buyouts to Bayou Corne property owners

BAYOU CORNE, LA (WAFB) - Texas Brine will have appraisers begin assessing properties near the giant Louisiana sinkhole Monday and will begin offering buyouts to homeowners in the Bayou Corne area.

State Representative Karen St. Germain hopes Texas Brine handles the buyout process with care.

"It is an individual family decision," St. Germain said.

"They can't lump every one into one ball. They have to take it separately. I think they understand that."

Texas Brine company officials will meet with a federal judge to see if they can talk to property owners who have hired lawyers.

"It shouldn't have taken this long," Governor Bobby Jindal said.

"It shouldn't have taken this long for buyouts to be offered. It shouldn't have taken this long for them to agree to DOTD monitoring or to pay their bills. But- but, if they do follow through with their commitments - it'll be a step in the right direction."

Meanwhile, the state plans to install monitoring equipment on roads and bridges in the area. Texas Brine will be sent the $750,000 bill.

The company will meet with the attorney general on Monday to discuss reimbursing the state, parish and local governments.

Texas Brine has paid $265,000 of a $480,000 bill to the local government and $190,000 of a $340,000 bill to the Assumption Sheriff's Office. The state has asked the company for $3.5 million, but has not been paid yet.

A panel of experts will convene to determine the long-term safety of residents in the area.

"Quite frankly, it doesn't matter to me whether it comes from them, their owners or their insurance carriers. At the end of the day, they caused this and they got to make it right."

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