LAFAYETTE, La. — The Homewood Detention Pond will resume construction after a settlement between Lafayette Consolidated Government, and the Bendel Partnership for $11.5 million was announced Thursday. Since last year, the 400 acres of land have been left as is, after a district court ruled that LCG was prohibited from further interfering with the ground.
A resident who has lived by the farmland since 1994, has mixed feelings about the settlement.
"Well, I'm glad there's gonna be some resolution to it. I hope they come now and repair what damage they've done and clean it up." said Donna Augustine, a retired biology teacher and homeowner.
Augustine built her home on River Ridge Drive and fell in love with the untouched farmland by the side of her house. Augustine and her husband would take walks through the grassy fields and hear the many birds come and go. However, the birds have not returned since the Homewood Detention Pond Project started, where contractors cut down countless trees and plants, and large holes were excavated and filled in by rainwater.
Instead, an increase of fire ants, mosquitos, and even snakes inhabit the pond just a few feet away from neighbors' backyards. Both Augustine and her husband had also experienced an increase in allergies and believe it is from the exposure to pesticides that was sprayed when construction was still ongoing and from the exposed earth that was left behind.
"It's gonna be bad in the summer, mosquitos are bad, and the spraying is not healthy for us, this is just ugly."
Despite wishing the land was never touched, Augustine hopes that LCG can now commit to maintaining and finishing construction and eventually have the destroyed land around her house redeveloped and used.
"They [LCG] want to beautify Lafayette, beautify this too, keep it all right. I would like to see something done." said Augustine.
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