Information on FEMA Funded Road Repairs in Your Neighborhood

At the Friday, January 27 City Council Public Works Committee meeting, the administration gave some details on the FEMA funded neighborhood road repair program. The City has already announced funding for 9 neighborhoods, but they said that they are working with FEMA to reassess the roads in every neighborhood in the City. Here are the neighborhoods that have already been announced:

Broadmoor – $4.8 million
Lakeshore/Lake Vista – $7.5 million
Lakeview – $16.7 million
Milneburg – $1.3 million
St. Claude – $21.8 million
Lower Ninth Ward – $45 million

Pontchartrain Park – $6.9 million

St. Roch – $3.6 million

Plum Orchard – $3.4 million

The City has reassessed 56 neighborhoods and will complete the remaining 14 neighborhoods by this spring. The City and FEMA will then negotiate the funding for each neighborhood and then make the announcement after FEMA obligates the funds. Don’t expect to know the details anytime soon. The City first announced $45 million to repair roads in the Lower Ninth Ward last summer, but they will not announce the roads to be repaired or the timeline of those repairs until this summer at the earliest.

The City also said that there will not be much opportunity for neighborhoods to have input in the process. Based on FEMA rules, the Federal Government tells the City which streets will be repaired. So the City, and much less the neighborhoods, do not have a say in the process. The City said that they will work with the Congressional delegation to change these rule, but the need not seem optimistic that this would happen anytime soon.

Here is some more information on this meeting. Here is the powerpoint presentation on the FEMA fund neighborhood road repair program which includes information on when all of the neighborhoods were reassessed (thank you to Stacy Head’s office for this information). Here is a link to a story that Fox 8 News did on this meeting.

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City Council Committee Meeting on Street Repair in Six Neighborhoods

On Friday, January 27 at 10am the City Council Public Works Committee will hold a meeting to discuss the status, process, and time frame of FEMA funded street repair in six neighborhoods. This meeting provides an opportunity to influence neighborhood street repair in your community.

It is not ideal to come to a meeting on Friday morning, the NOLA CPP will continue to work to create a system where the City will come to your neighborhood. Still, this provides a good opportunity to influence the system. Please go here to view the entire agenda, and see below for an excerpt of the agenda:

Presentation on the FEMA funded neighborhood street repairs. Specifically, for the below neighborhoods, 1) the status of funding; 2) when to expect a map of planned improvements (i.e. – have the exact locations/streets within these neighborhoods been determined, and if so, are they subject to changes); 3) the complete cost of the improvements/repairs, & if there are outstanding funds needed to complete the projects; & 4) a timeline.

Broadmoor – $4.8 million
Lakeshore/Lake Vista – $7.5 million
Lakeview – $16.7 million
Milneburg – $1.3 million
St. Claude – $21.8 million
Lower Ninth Ward – $45 million

To Present: Member(s) of the Administration

Sewerage & Water Board to Hold Public Meetings on Rate Increases

Sewerage & Water Board Holds Three Public Hearings on Water Rate Increases

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans will hold three citywide public hearings on rate and fee increases (the first one was held this past Monday, January 23.) The Board of Directors at its Dec. 21, 2011 meeting approved the measure.  This increase has the potential to DOUBLE current water bills.

Details on the rate increases and the need for funds to repair and upgrade the three systems will be presented at the hearings, along with information about the state of funds available for major projects throughout the City.

Public input is welcomed. PLEASE MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD- this issue affects every one of us!

Customer service representatives will be available for questions about individual accounts.

The remaining two meetings are scheduled as follows:

 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

City Council Chambers

1300 Perdido Street

6 p.m.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lindy Boggs Conference Center

(next to UNO’s Campus)

2043 Lakeshore Drive

6 p.m.

For more information contact the Community and Intergovernmental Department at 585-2169.

For a summary of the first community meeting held on Monday, January 23, please see this article from the Times-Picayune.

Last ONE Left Standing? – Opinion on the Fight for Citizen Participation in New Orleans

Tim G from NolaHoods has published an editorial on The Lens website that describes ‘the fight’ over citizen participation in New Orleans at Tuesday’s Master Plan Amendment public hearing hosted by the City Planning Commission. Go to The Lens website to view this article. The editorial references ‘Team CBNO’ a number of times. It should be noted that Team CBNO is more than just the staff of Committee for a Better New Orleans, it is the hundreds of New Orleans residents who worked on the New Orleans Citizen Participation Project. In addition, more people than those involved in ‘Team CBNO’ spoke out against this proposed Master Plan Amendment.

Tim G has also clipped the video on the Tuesday, January 10 Master Plan Amendment meeting for the relevant part on citizen participation, which can be found on the NolaHoods website.

Tim G also transcribed the response from Lucas Diaz, the Director of the Office of Neighborhood Engagement, to the opposition to the Master Plan Amendment, which can be found here.

The City Planning Commission will accept written comments on this Amendment until February 1. You can email your comments to cpcinfo@nola.gov, be sure to reference Master Plan Text Amendment #19.

http://thelensnola.org/2012/01/13/sparring-over-citizen-participation-program-in-new-orleans/

CPP Supporters Speak Out Against Proposed Master Plan Amendment

On the evening of Tuesday, January 10 the City Planning Commission (CPC) hosted a public hearing on the proposed Amendments to the Master Plan. Text Amendment #19, submitted by the Neighborhood Engagement Office (NEO), proposed to make substantial changes to the Community Participation Program Chapter (Chp 15, Vol 3) of the Master Plan. Amendment #19 would have removed any reference to District Councils, a critical component of the NOLA CPP Model and an international best practice of Citizen Participation Programs. Much to our surprise, City Planning Commission staff recommended this proposed change and recommended extending this change to Volume 2 of the Master Plan, beyond what NEO applied for.

Given the critical nature of District Councils, eight NOLA CPP supporters showed up and spoke out against this proposed Amendment. After the testimony of the opponents, Lucas Diaz, the Director of the NEO, was asked to respond to the criticism. Mr. Diaz responsed saying that he agrees with the community concerns, is aware of District Councils, just wants to clarify the process in the Master Plan, and wants to leave his process open and not mandate District Councils (please see this link for his entire response).

Craig Mitchell, the Chair of the Planning Commission, asked if his office is autonomous from the Mayor. Mr. Diaz said that his office is an additional resource to improve public participation from withing City Government. Mr. Mitchell then asked if it was essential to pass this amendment, and Mr. Diaz said it was not essential, but would help to clarify.

Next Councilmember Clarkson got up to clarify the intent of the Neighborhood Participation Plan. She gave a brief history of the Master Plan with the force of law. Then she said the point of the Neighborhood Participation Program (NPP) was to make the Councilmembers’ land use decisions less political and to give the neighborhoods more of a voice in the decision making. She stressed the need for a community component of the NPP, but said that it was up to the Mayor to implement it.

Our supporters did a good job of demonstrating the backing of the NOLA CPP Model to the Planning Commission and the need for District Councils and an external (community) component of the NPP. Thanks to Tim G for processing a video clip of this portion of the meeting which can be found at the NolaHoods website.

The City Planning Commission will accept written comments on this Amendment until February 1. You can email your comments to cpcinfo@nola.gov, be sure to reference Master Plan Text Amendment #19.