Oct 062017
 

Attorney Mike Whitaker (left) speaks to mayoral candidate Troy Henry in the Leche family kitchen about damage to the home during the drainage canal construction outside on Jefferson Avenue. A crack is visible in the wall behind Whitaker. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

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Sep 182017
 



From Mid-City Messenger

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. Continue reading »

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Sep 152017
 

Candidates for the District A seat on the New Orleans City Council — Joe Giarrusso III, Dan Ring, Tilman Hardy, Toyia Washington-Kendrick, Drew Ward and Aylin Maklansky — debate during a town hall hosted by Carrollton neighborhood groups on Thursday evening. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

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Sep 072017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

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. Continue reading »

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Aug 162017
 

New Orleans Fire Department chief Tim McConnell speaks Wednesday afternoon at a news conference at City Hall. (via City of New Orleans)

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. Continue reading »

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Aug 152017
 

The pumping station in Broadmoor has two small pumps out, but still has most of its pumping capacity, according to the Sewerage & Water Board. (photo via Google)

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. Continue reading »

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Jul 062017
 

Construction cones mark the beginning of drainage work on Henry Clay Avenue. (photo via the city of New Orleans)

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. Continue reading »

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Jun 192017
 

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

Continue reading »

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Dec 212016
 
Motorists pass through the Jefferson Avenue intersection on Freret Street, which reopened on Friday after being closed four months. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Motorists pass through the Jefferson Avenue intersection on Freret Street, which reopened on Friday after being closed four months. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The busy Freret Street intersection with Jefferson Avenue has reopened to traffic as construction continues on the major underground drainage canal, officials said. Continue reading »

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Dec 152016
 

A member of the 610 Stompers leads a cheer as the Krewe of Hermes rolls past Napoleon Avenue construction fences in 2016. All construction on Napoleon will be complete for 2017, the U.S. Army Corps says. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

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Dec 132016
 
Firefighters' pension tax results, by precinct: Precinct 14-26 (in red) was the only Uptown precinct to vote against the tax. Five others (in yellow) voted yes but with narrow margins of 50 to 55 percent. Everywhere else (in green) the tax passed easily. (map by UptownMessenger.com)

Firefighters’ pension tax results, by precinct: Precinct 14-26 (in red) was the only Uptown precinct to vote against the tax. Five others (in yellow) voted yes but with narrow margins of 50 to 55 percent. Everywhere else (in green) the tax passed easily. (map by UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

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Dec 022016
 
Joe Becker, general superintendent of the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, describes the need for voters to approve a property-tax renewal that funds drainage operations in the city before the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association on Thursday, Dec. 1. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Joe Becker, general superintendent of the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, describes the need for voters to approve a property-tax renewal that funds drainage operations in the city before the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association on Thursday, Dec. 1. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

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Nov 162016
 
Sewerage and Water Board superintendent Joe Becker speaks with a resident amid flooding from a broken water main on Cohn Street in July 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Sewerage and Water Board superintendent Joe Becker speaks with a resident amid flooding from a broken water main on Cohn Street in July 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

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.” Continue reading »