Flooding may not be fault of Belhaven Univ.

By WILLIAM OSBORNE,

The July 27 issue of the “Northside Sun” contained a very interesting and informative contribution by Fountain Barksdale on the history of flooding by Belhaven Creek. Per Mr. Barksdale, flooding was non-existent in the 1950s before the buildup of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the construction of Veterans Memorial Stadium, and the elimination of the lake on Belhaven University’s campus. Have any of these organizations responded to that letter to either acknowledge or refute the points that Mr. Barksdale raised?

Should UMMC and the developers of the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium have provided flood mitigation devices to prevent excessive amounts of water from entering the creek? I understand that Belhaven University retained consulting engineers who concluded that elimination of the lake and installation of the retention pond would not have a negative impact on Belhaven Creek.

The photo shown was taken the evening of July 10, 2017 at the corner of Peachtree Street and Riverside Drive. That location is upstream of Belhaven University and in my opinion only reflects runoff from UMMC, the stadium, and Fondren.

The City of Jackson has told me that it does not have jurisdiction over State property and cannot require that UMMC or the Veterans Memorial Stadium install retention ponds. That would be the responsibility of MS DEQ, who has not exercised that authority. Please do not consider that I am opposed to the ongoing development of UMMC or the presence of Veterans Stadium. We are fortunate to have both of them. Each needs to install systems to mitigate the runoff from its facility.

Thanks for your commitment to our city and its neighborhoods.

William Osborne is a resident of Belhaven.