Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Louisiana: A Government on Posts

Cameron Parish, Louisiana

It is a peculiar sight to see bricks and mortar government buildings atop posts.

Cameron, Louisiana

Somebody got this sparsely-populated area a lotta money to construct these government buildings.

Cameron, Louisiana

The population of the all Cameron Parish is less than 7000 people. Fewer than 2500 households. Looks like 1600 or so people under the age of 18.

Cameron, Louisiana

Not all the buildings are new.

Cameron, Louisiana

I love the ubiquitous Louisiana port-a-potty, this one owned by the sheriff's department. 

Cameron, Louisiana

 Cameron gets hammered regularly by hurricanes.

In 1957, Hurricane Audrey killed 300 residents of the town of Cameron.

In 2005, Hurricane Rita blew through.

And in 2008, it was Hurricane Ike that wreaked destruction.

About the money

An excerpt from a 2012 news report:

Horn says the parish is still working on a new $12.6 million jail. She says a $5.5 million courthouse annex including Police Jury administrative offices should be completed in August. Horn says the courthouse basement had to be flood-proofed, the outside repaired and windows replaced, among other work.

From a congressman's website in 2011: 

Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D., (R-South Louisiana) released the following statement today after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a grant totaling $4.7 million was awarded to Cameron Parish to replace contents damaged throughout its library system during Hurricane Rita ...

A coastal protection project from 2013: 

The restoration project mines sand from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico and transports it onto the Cameron Parish shoreline, restoring a beach that was eroded to the point of threatening the only east-west highway in the parish and one of the main routes for evacuations, State Highway 82/27. ... The $45.8 million project is being paid for entirely with state funds set aside for shoreline restoration

The new high school, from a 2010 New York Times article   

  .... new $28 million building with two gyms and three elevators.

Coastal restoration - I get that. A major investment in Louisiana's future, benefits reaped by all. But these big new government buildings for a parish with so few inhabitants? I don't know. I'd like to understand the reasoning along two lines: 
  • Decisions on how to allocate finite financial resources for the greatest good; and 
  • Decision to rebuild in a location that regularly gets decimated by forces majeures.

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