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Letter to the Editor: Spend to save lives, not cropland

Friday, September 9, 2005

To the editor:

I do not understand our Congress and president. They are going to fund (with taxpayers' money) the New Madrid floodway project. This project will only protect and increase the value of a few wealthy landowners' cropland (there are a few homes located in the floodway region on ridges) in Mississippi and New Madrid counties. Their great-grandpa or grandpas bought the land from the government years ago for about 50 cents to a dollar an acre. A flowage easement is still attached to their deeds. That is why they got the land so cheap. Throughout the years the government, through USDA programs, also financially assisted these wealthy landowners in clearing and draining the lands so it can be cropped. But this same Congress and president did not adequately fund the levee project in New Orleans to protect lives. Over 10,000 people may have lost their lives. If I was choosing between cropland or lives, I would choose to save lives.

NANCY CALDWELL, Cape Girardeau