Mixed emotions for residents as buyout process continues

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Irma Miller stood outside the house she has called home for 42 years on Thursday. Her home recently visited by East Baton Rouge Parish appraisers determining a value for her property and others in the community.

"They've been here and looked at the property, they have not come back to us.  As to what they're going to offer us yet I think that's the next step," said Miller.

That step put in motion back in January when Baton Rouge Metro-Council members voted to establish a buffer zone around the North Baton Rouge Sewage Treatment Plant, buying residents and renters out in the process.

"You are still living in human waste," said Gregory Mitchell to a room full of residents.

Mitchell, a community spokesman, answered questions but also determined to let the public know that he feels residents are still being treated unfairly living in unsanitary conditions as the buyout process plays out.

"Just because we have this buyout doesn't mean the problems have disappeared. We are still suffering and we just don't want people to think everything is ok and hokie dokie now that's not just the facts," added Mitchell.

Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel represents those residents who live near the treatment facility and says those conditions are exactly why the city did the right thing and approved the buyout.

"You have to have new complaints and you cannot continue to harp on the same because that is why you had the buyout and it's like you are trying a guilty man for the same crime and he's serving time and you say let's take him back before the judge," said Banks-Daniel.

Banks-Daniel adds there have been minimal complaints from affected residents she has spoken with and that includes Irma, who now just waits for the next phase of her life to begin.

"It's starting all over again at an age I thought I wouldn't be starting over again but we're having to do that," said Miller.

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