Morehouse Parish residents upset about a new USDA housing project that's underway

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BASTROP, La. (KNOE) - Residents who live in Morehouse Parish and Bastrop are giving city leaders a piece of their mind during Thursday night's meeting. They're not happy with a new housing development moving next door and they say they want one thing.

"To get these low income housing away from our neighborhoods to protect our kids our families and each other," Morehouse Resident Tiffany Bayless Nolan said.

The council already agreed to allow the USDA multi-family living unit to go on Naff Ave. between Daisy and Roderick Streets, which is one of the problems because it's zoned into the parish.

Back in December, the leader of this project former mayor Clarence Hawkins said this would be only for those working in the agriculture field.

"He assured us that it would be working class people. It wouldn't be for anyone for low income homes," said Moore. That's the reason we voted on it. He also stated that someone would be on site 24-hours a day and it would be a fenced-in community so that's why we voted on it."

But, some at the meeting weren't convinced. Council Member Marvin Moore said this is a win for the city.

"Its a good tax base for the city of Bastrop, but I'm with the other citizens. If it was low income based, then I would have been against it also," Moore said.

Those who live on the parish side said the city should have asked what they thought. However, the mayor responded and said if they live outside city limits, the city isn't required to.

But, those against it said that's not the last word.

"By far is it over," Bayless Nolan said.

Opponents said they'll petition the project and have a public meeting next week to see what can be done. Moore and Mayor Henry Cotton said they'll entertain the idea.

However, the city's attorney said Thursday night, in part, it's a moot point.

During the meeting, it was also announced Bastrop is no longer on the state's non-compliance list after the State Legislative Auditor’s Office said the mayor submitted a signed audit that was due Dec. 31st.

The state reviewed it and sent their findings back to the city. City council said they're reviewing the audit now.

The audit is expected to be public sometime in March.