Ronald A. Goux wants to build a Walmart in Covington. Residents don't want a Walmart when there are multiple other shopping centers that can satisfy the demand. Now, despite an ongoing lawsuit, Mr. Goux is ignoring the courts ruling and moving forward with his plans to build.
So what does this mean for our wetlands?
The area of the proposed Walmart already floods during heavy rains and the loss of 7.5 acres of wetland forest, the flooding will only get worse.
Mr. Goux proposes that the entrance and exit of his Walmart be situated on a residential two-lane road. This is unviable for the neighborhood--as traffic is already at a halt during rush hour, and Walmart customers will only add to this roadblock. Three schools use this two-lane road, as well as local fire department, police department and paramedics. Building this Walmart will lower the safety of the roads by adding more congestion to the area, increasing the likelihood of an accident and increasing the chances that help will not be able to get to those who need it in time.
Where Mr. Goux proposed to build this Walmart is right beyond a curve in the road, increasing the risk of accidents due to the limited visibility, increased traffic and increased flooding. These traffic concerns are longstanding—when the church that is behind the proposed Walmart was being built, one of the caveats was that they were not allowed to have a “mother’s day out” program in order to reduce the traffic on Brewster Road. If a church can’t have a “mother’s day out” program because of traffic, how can St. Tammany justify an even bigger burden on Brewster’s road traffic for an unwanted commercial development?
Mr. Goux wants to put this Walmart smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood, where hundred of families would be affected by this increase in traffic. All of these families use this road as their main way of entering and leaving their homes, and this Walmart would only hinder their ability to come and go from their own properties as they please. The only person who wants this Walmart is Mr. Goux and he plans to move forward with his business plan with or without the consent and input of the community he will be affecting.
Object to building a Walmart in the already overburdened St. Tammany Parish. St. Tammany has been the victim of many commercial developments at the cost of their precious wetlands. Let’s not make the Brewster Road Walmart another one of those mistakes.
You can email Brad LaBorde at the Corps and Elizabeth Johnson at DEQ and tell them to ease the burden on our wetlands, wildlife, and communities.
Jeanette Chu is a member of the Water Resources Team at GRN.