Watson residents at community meeting say they don't want gravel pit

Watson residents at community meeting say they don't want gravel pit

WATSON, LA (WAFB) - Tempers flared at a community meeting at Live Oaks High School. Residents of the Oak Hills sub-division in Watson, La. were intensely asking questions about mining company Southern Aggregates’ plans for a gravel pit. The pit would be located directly behind residents’ back yards.

Company owner, Kevin Black, tried to answer the many questions about his mining plans. Livingston Councilman Jim Norred, who lives in the neighborhood, says Black talked a good bargain but he isn't buying it.

"If you're going to do something on your property that is going to interfere with my health," said Norred. "What gives you that right? I have the right to pursue life liberty and the pursuit of happiness too. Why should I give my right for you?"

Kellee Hennessy with the Livingston School Board said she is worried about the potential health risks the gravel pit might pose to students, and she doesn't understand the reason for one.

"We have so many gravel pits up and down this area," said Hennessy. "I don't see the need for this particular one to be right in this neighborhood and this close proximity to the school."

The company will still need to acquire a permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers to start production. Residents have started a petition to fight it.

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