The commissioners of Scott County want to express our disappointment at the attitude shown by the editors of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Nov. 21 when they, in effect, said the people of the Bootheel were not worth saving. Their editorial praised the roadblocks that have been put in front of the St. John's Basin-New Madrid Floodway Project, ostensibly to protect the ecosystem. We find that position less than praiseworthy and even rude, because they refuse to acknowledge that lives are at stake in flooding situations.
Scott County has numerous significant flooding hazards extending along the St. John's Ditch from mid-County through the Sikeston area into New Madrid County. Residents of Mini Farms, Sikeston and Miner, and the adjacent eastern areas of the county are at risk when this causeway floods. And the St. John's ditch on our end can't be efficient until the problems on its New Madrid County end are addressed. We are working with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the city of Sikeston to clean out St. John's to provide some local relief before the next big flooding situation. This is only a band-aid for now, however, and the larger project must be addressed by our state and federal government.
Our members of Congress, the Corps of Engineers and our state legislators have worked for decades to develop the right solution to this problem. We do not agree with those state and federal natural resource agencies that oppose the project on tenuous grounds. And we'd like to invite the editors of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to visit us during the next spate of rain and flood waters - bring your boats, boots and life jackets.
Scott County Commission:
Martin Priggel, presiding commissioner Walter Bizzell, first district commissioner Jamie Burger, second district commissioner