Senator Boozman views river debris on Little Maumelle

    7:54 PM, Aug 17, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCk, Ark. (KTHV) -- Two half-sunken houseboats are still cluttering the Little Maumelle River, visible from the I-430 Bridge and Two Rivers Bridge, a year after the flood.

    On Friday, United States Senator John Boozman (R-Arkansas) stopped by Two Rivers Park to view the debris.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent two letters to one of the boat owners, and the person did not respond by the August 15th deadline. The case has now been referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    A second notice has been sent to the other boat owner. The person has until September 4th to respond before the case is also referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

    "At some point, you do have to be responsible. Somebody has to clean this up...but we're at a little bit of a standstill right now," Senator Boozman said.

    He added that other solutions to the problem should be explored.

    "One of the things that our office can do is bring people together, and so we'll be talking to other people that have expertise in this area -- see if we can get some good community spirit together which Arkansas has so much of and see if we can figure out a solution where we can clean up the river and be very proud of that effort," Senator Boozman said.

    He suggested his office would reach out to a towing company that specializes in this type of work.

    Laurie Driver with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers suggests two possible solutions: A salvage company might want the debris for scrap metal, or a community effort to raise funds to remove the debris.

    "I'll be glad to make the first contribution," Driver said. "That may be the quickest way to get this area cleaned up. Is that how we want the process to work? No. Should that alleviate someone's responsibility? No. But sometimes other people have to step up and do what's right when those who should, don't." 

    Twitter: @BuhrmanM.

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