Plain Dealing homeowners form group called Save 537 to keep erosion from washing away their community

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PLAIN DEALING, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A group of homeowners in Bossier Parish have formed a coalition to stop erosion from closing a state highway.

“It’s like they just don’t care about us here,” said Holly Hollenshead, Wardview Bottoms property owner.

Holly Hollenshead has joined a group of fellow homeowners in a community called Wardview Bottoms near Plain Dealing, calling their initiative Save 537. They want to save Highway 537 from closing

“If we lose the road that means a $15-20 million impact on the community. That means not only do we lose our property here, fertilizer companies cannot get to the road properly, the cattlemen can’t move their products down. It means the rice farmers of Arkansas can’t get their products down. Now what effect does that have on the overall community, it means Plain Dealing starts to die,” Hollenshead said.

The Highway 537 is recommended for closure by the Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg because of erosion from the Red River. The groups wants the Bossier Parish Police Jury and State of Louisiana to commission a study to look at other options.

“If we get a small amount of money to just look at low cost options that’s all were asking for now,” Hollenshead said.

John Ed Jorden is the District 4 Juror for Bossier Parish. He said this issue may seem small to others, but the highway brings life into their community.

“It’s a major thoroughfare here this rose all the way into Arkansas,” Jorden said.

He said the closure would have rippling effects not only for their community, but commerce coming into the state.

“Not only affects just farmers for the effects people hunting out her, it affects lots of people,” Jorden said.

They’re looking to raise $50,000. $25,000 from the police jury, and $25,000 from the state to pay for a study to stop the erosion. They said the issue has been going on for decades.

Nobody has done one thing other than just talk. So what we are asking for some type of action,” Hollenshead said.

They’ve started a petition that has gained 100 signatures so far.

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