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.
Should the residents who live along the Uptown corridors that have been blocked for years amid the construction of major new drainage canals also be subject to substantial increases in their property taxes this year? Or do the inconveniences they suffer diminish the value of their homes enough to stave off the higher taxes until construction is complete?
Those competing points of view formed the basis for a sometimes-contentious meeting Thursday night between City Councilwoman Susan Guidry, Orleans Parish Assessor Erroll Williams, and a room full of Jefferson Avenue residents.
Motorists on Freret Street will be unable to cross Jefferson Avenue for the next five months or so, and will be detoured again around the intersection through the side streets, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans announced.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will hold a Flood Insurance Workshop on Friday, August 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. at City Hall. The workshop will provide the public information on the new updates to flood insurance rates and resources, as well as FEMA’s new Flood Insurance Rate Maps that go into effect September 30, 2016.
Low water pressure is expected Wednesday evening around the intersection of Napoleon and St. Charles avenues amid continuing work on the new underground drainage canal, according to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans.
A retired federal judge has been appointed to mediate $86 million in damage claims from property damage from the ongoing SELA drainage projects along four major Uptown corridors, attorneys announced Monday.
A new $51 million drainage project along Martin Luther King Boulevard will help prevent flooding from heavy rains around the Central City area — but instead of simply trying to push water away through underground canals, it will absorb and store it according the most current thinking on stormwater management in New Orleans.
If all goes as planned, the Lower Garden District will soon get a 600-foot-long bioswale along Coliseum Square Park, thanks to money pledged by the Sewerage and Water Board to give the city more green infrastructure.
Contractors are set to begin rebuilding a portion of the long-closed Prytania Street, but the Octavia Street intersection will close for at least eight weeks as part of the process, New Orleans officials said.