The Jackson County Board of Supervisors should withdraw their support and formally oppose the Lake George Projects.
According to the Sun Herald (Sept. 15), Supervisor Troy Ross said the Jackson County support for the lakes was given at the request of the George County supervisors with no specifics as to where the dam would go. It now appears to be more that. A recent Sun Herald editorial revealed that Board President Barry Cumbest (and family) stands to potentially benefit financially from the construction of these lakes. Further, he traveled to Washington to gain support for this project.
The other supervisors were either not aware of this obvious conflict of interest with Barry Cumbest and this project (not likely), or they were aware of this conflict of interest and chose to support it anyway.
Environmentally, this is an unsound and ill-conceived project. The Environmental Assessment states that shallow water aquifers used as a source of water by property owners will be destroyed. It also states that sand formations will have to be saturated (and remain saturated) before the lake will hold water.
To my knowledge, there has never been a restriction placed on the amount of water that can be withdrawn from the Pascagoula River, even during the drought periods referenced in the report.
Additionally, to my knowledge, the Pat Harrison Waterway District has no lakes that are bordered by private land owners with rights to construct houses, docks, ramps or piers on the lakes.