POSTED: Friday, July 12, 2013 - 10:30am
UPDATED: Friday, July 12, 2013 - 5:46pm
SCOTLANDVILLE, LA (NBC33) — Residents of Scotlandville's University Place subdivision dealt with stench, flies, and even some health problems for almost twenty years before the city parish agreed to buy them out several months ago. Now, the reality of a future free from all those problems is finally hitting home for one family. However, the final hurdle is not without some lingering issues due to a new construction project.
Gregory Mitchell has lived in the subdivision for more than twenty years. He remembers when there was a park where the North Wastewater Treatment Plant now stands.
Mitchell and his wife Chontelle have been through years of legal wrangling with the city parish. When realtors contracted to help work out the details of the buyout showed up on his doorstep on Thursday, July 11, it was a big moment.
"At this point, we do see some progress, moving forward,” Gregory Mitchell said. “Now we want to make sure that the progress is constant progress, that's positive for this community."
The visits from realtors are just the beginning of the buyout process that will ultimately allow families like the Mitchells' to move on; away from the smell, the sewer flies, and now, more construction.
While the prospect of an end in sight is a positive one, Chontelle Mitchell says the latest construction project just adds insult to injury.
"Knowing that they were intending to buy them out, they should have waited to start this construction," she explained.
But the new lines are going in now. It’s progress Mitchell says makes it even clearer for residents just how important this buyout is for their families and their futures. Still, the idea of going for some, is bitter sweet.
"But if you've lived in a community all of your life, there are some emotions that sometimes you just can't control,” Gregory said. “I've seen some folks cry. I've seen some folks get angry. So there are many emotions that are going on right now. But as we can see, hopefully moving forward, we can bring some smiles back to all of those faces."
While the prospect of finally closing this chapter of their lives is a positive one, some are reserving their celebration for when it counts.
"I have no faith in the system,” Chontelle said. “Until the move is done, I'm not satisfied."
At this point, realtors will walk residents through the appraisal process. We're told they could see the first buyout offers from the city parish within the next six to eight weeks.