A group of mayoral and City Council candidates promised Friday morning to try to find out if the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans still has the $115 million reserve fund intended to pay damages from its major Uptown drainage-canal construction projects, as well as to try to push the entity toward mediation of their claims rather than continuing in a costly legal fight against them.
City Council District A candidates all have varying solutions for the ongoing Sewerage and Water Board fiasco, including hiring staff with water management experience and using spare Department of Public Works employees to clean out catch basins.
All agreed, however, that more oversight is needed for the state-created entity.
City Council District A is home to a plethora of the city’s parks and greenspaces, and their management and sustainability remains an important issue as the city grows. All six District A candidates said they’d fight to keep greenspaces across the city, though they presented different preservation tactics.
Two candidates stressed the importance of zoning ordinances and the city’s Master Plan in protecting current greenspace, while others argued for legislation protecting trees and living plants. Some candidates said they’d look into unifying park management into one entity, if it proves efficient.
The New Orleans City Council’s budget hearing today focuses on capital improvements, public works and other drainage improvements that were paid for this year with emergency funds. When also factoring in yesterday’s fire at the Sewerage & Water Board’s Claiborne Avenue main pumping station, it’s easy to see why citizens are becoming more skeptical about the ability of our mayor and his S&WB team to protect us against flooding.
A diesel sheen atop the water in a drainage canal in Carrollton led to the discovery Tuesday night of a leak from an underground tank at the Sewerage & Water Board plant, New Orleans city officials said Wednesday afternoon.
Two of the 11 pumps in the Broadmoor pumping station are out of service, but the station still has most of its capacity — unlike the critically impaired stations in Lakeview, City Park and New Orleans East, officials said.
A $1 million project to improve drainage on Henry Clay Avenue near St. Charles Avenue has begun and will last through the summer, according to the city of New Orleans Department of Public Works.
On Thursday, June 22, LCIA is hosting a workshop for the construction industry, “Opportunities for Contractors in Stormwater Management.” The event will be co-hosted by the Urban Conservancy and StayLocal. The issue of stormwater management—what we do with rainwater when it hits the ground—is an important issue in New Orleans.
During the day-long class, attendees will learn about:
- The history of stormwater management in New Orleans
- The paradigm shift toward green infrastructure and new building practices
- New city ordinances and codes that require water management to be considered on new construction
- Available building materials and products that are used in green infrastructure
- The increasing demand for green infrastructure
The busy Freret Street intersection with Jefferson Avenue has reopened to traffic as construction continues on the major underground drainage canal, officials said.
Napoleon Avenue parade-goers can get their “Neutral Ground Side” T-shirts out of the mothballs for Mardi Gras 2017, because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that all construction on the avenue will be complete before the first parades roll in 2017.
In the weeks leading up to Saturday’s vote to renew a property tax that funds one-third of the city’s drainage operations, Sewerage & Water Board general superintendent Joe Becker spoke openly about his fear that this year’s seemingly anti-establishment mood could scuttle the tax, leading to deep cuts for the agency.
“We’re very concerned that people are just going to walk into the booth, see ‘Taxes’ and vote no,” Becker said in November, barely a week after Donald Trump’s Electoral College upset shocked the nation.
It turns out, Becker had little reason to be concerned. Bolstered by support from nearly every public official and watchdog agency in the city, the drainage tax renewal passed easily. Meanwhile, a smaller new property tax to restore funding to the firefighters’ pension fund was not as popular, but still managed to pass.
With barely more than a week before the Dec. 10 election, officials with the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans are making their final effort to spread the word about voting to renew a tax that provides the agency with a third of its budget for draining the city.
The property tax that generates one-third of the Sewerage & Water Board’s budget for draining the city of New Orleans is up for renewal on the Dec. 10 runoff ballot, and officials are pleading with neighborhoods to spread the word amid the current climate of electoral uncertainty.
“We’re very concerned that people are just going to walk into the booth, see ‘Taxes’ and vote no,” said Joe Becker, general superintendent of the Sewerage & Water Board, at a meeting of the Delachaise Neighborhood Association on Tuesday. “But if people understand the consequences what that ‘no’ vote is, I think they’ll vote intellectually and see the benefits of moving forward with this.”
Residents near the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Willow street will lose power for much of Wednesday as part of the ongoing construction of a new drainage canal there, Entergy announced.