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The DeSoto Parish in Louisiana has denied a request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to set up trailers at an RV park, according to the Shreveport Times.
“Just say that we’re disappointed that DeSoto Parish has joined 55% of other Louisiana parishes refusing to help south Louisiana people,” said Mary Lott, wife of park owner Leslie Lott.
According to the newspaper, the local RV park stood to gain $102,600 over the next months for renting travel trailer pads to hurricane evacuees.
City leaders in nearby Mansfield took no action on a similar request, voting unanimously to defer a decision on potential trailer sites until its Nov. 28 meeting.
The FEMA trailer issue split Mansfield and DeSoto Parish residents between two public bodies Monday (Nov. 14) evening. With meetings only 30 minutes apart and locations separated by only a few blocks, the governing bodies drew large crowds with most citizens speaking against the idea and property owners talking in favor.
Ken Cox, a retired military officer living in Mansfield, suggested the Mansfield Board of Aldermen put more thought into a development plan and distribute trailers around the city.
Overall, citizen opposition to the locations identified by FEMA included concerns about inadequate infrastructure, lack of jobs and public transportation, and overburdened law enforcement and social services offices.