44 of 92 buyout offers accepted by residents near giant Louisian - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

44 of 92 buyout offers accepted by residents near giant Louisiana sinkhole

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(Source: Assumption Parish OEP) (Source: Assumption Parish OEP)
Aerial image June 18, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP) Aerial image June 18, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP)
Aerial image September, 2012 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP) Aerial image September, 2012 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP)
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BAYOU CORNE, LA (WAFB) -

Tim Brown, his wife and their pet Dachshunds have lived along Bayou Corne since 1999 - a lifestyle he's not comfortable giving up.

"We're not going anyplace, so we'll just ride it out and see what happens," said Brown.

Brown questions what his property and those of others in the area are even worth and adds because of the sinkhole selling and refinancing is not even an option. Texas Brine Spokesman Sonny Cranch says the company has done its part making offers to residents interested in a buyout.

"Residents accepted offers we provided, others as part of the process responded with a counter offer and in many cases, we accepted their counter offer," said Cranch.

As of Monday's court deadline, 44 residents in the Bayou Corne area had accepted a buyout offer from Texas Brine according to Cranch, but community leaders say the company's response to this situation from day one has come up well short of expectations.

"I've never seen a company take this long to come to the people's aid," said State Representative Karen St. Germain. "To take 10 and a half months to make a decision and to do it within a month's time of discussions, settlements and counter offers, this is not even acceptable."

Cranch disagrees and while he acknowledges things like getting clearance for vent wells and insurance approval have slowed recovery down, he says the company has done everything it's been asked to do.

"We moved as quickly as we could you know we had a bump in the road with our insurance carriers but we managed to resolve those and complete the process," said Cranch.

A process that Brown has been updating on his front lawn over each major holiday and one that he intends to wait out.

"Just don't want to leave this is where we plan on retiring and we are going to hang on to it as long as we can," said Brown.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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