January 19, 2012
City Council Chamber
City Council January 19, 2012 Regular Meeting Summary New Orleans, LA - January 19, 2012 - Today, the City Council received a presentation from representatives of the nonprofit organization Kiva New Orleans. The Council adopted ordinances extending the temporary moratorium on the issuance and renewal of alcoholic beverage outlet permits in City Council District "D". In other action, the Council passed a resolution accepting federal funds to renovate the Magnolia Bridge on Bayou St. John and to enhance portions of the St. Charles Avenue Streetscape. And, the Council recognized Thomas Ospital, the Young Artist-in-Residence at the St. Louis Cathedral.
Accepted Federal Funds for Restoration of Historic Magnolia Bridge on Bayou St. John and St. Charles Avenue Streetscape ProjectThe Council passed Resolution R-12-6, authored by Councilmember Guidry that accepted $1.8 Million in federal funds for the restoration of the historic Magnolia Bridge on Bayou St. John and for the enhancement of portions of the St. Charles Avenue Streetscape. The Regional Planning Commission (RPC) has included both projects in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and designated the projects of regional significance. TIP requires that the City provide 100% of the design, engineering, inspection and a local match of five percent for costs of construction. The St. Charles Avenue Streetscape Improvements Phase I is designed to increase safety for pedestrians using the streetcar line. The scope of work includes replacement of lamps and updating of poles to create a more aesthetically pleasing environment for residents and tourists using the streetcar line. The Magnolia Converted Pedestrian Bridge Rehabilitation Project repairs, restores and upgrades the bridge to allow for a safe pedestrian crossing.
District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "The Magnolia Bridge is an iconic structure in the Faubourg St. John and Parkview Neighborhoods. This neighborhood and Citywide symbol is in need of repair and restoration. These federal funds ensure that the bridge remains structurally sound for crossing pedestrians and continues as a historic and important touchstone along Bayou St. John. The enhancements planned along parts of St. Charles Avenue will complement the considerable private beautification projects that have been recently completed along this world famous New Orleans street."
Recognized Young Artist-in-Residence at the St. Louis CathedralAt the request of Council President Clarkson, Thomas Ospital, a Young Artist-in-Residence at the St. Louis Cathedral (2011-2012), received a Council proclamation recognizing his musical talent and contributions to the City of New Orleans. Established in 2009, Young Artist-in-Residence is a joint program of the St. Louis Cathedral and the Paris Conservatory and is funded by the Elise M. Cambon Memorial Fund and the parishioners of the St. Louis Cathedral. Ospital is the third Young Artist-in-Residence. Ospital was the titular organist of Saint Vincent in Ciboure, France and co-titular organist of Notre Dame des Vertus in Aubervilliers, France. Born in 1990, he maintains an active concert career not only in France, but in Germany, Greece, Holland and Spain. In 2009, Ospital won first prize at the International Organ Competition in Zaragoza, Spain. In 2008, he oversaw the design and construction of a new organ for the 16th-century church of Saint Vincent in Ciboure. During his stay in New Orleans, in addition to regular music responsibilities, Ospital will also offer a series of recitals.
Council President Clarkson said, "The Young Artist-in-Residence Program is a wonderful opportunity for young talented musicians to share their music talents with the community and experience our vibrant and exciting City. The young musical artists chosen by St. Louis Cathedral are all remarkable talents and Thomas Ospital is no exception."
Received Kiva New Orleans PresentationAt the request of Council President Clarkson, representatives of Kiva New Orleans appeared before the Council to make a presentation about the organization's work and mission. Kiva is a nonprofit organization that works to alleviate poverty by facilitating the lending of money via the Internet to microfinance institutions in developing countries and in the United States. Kiva New Orleans is a part of Kiva City, a program that works with community organizations in the United States to provide local small businesses with microloans. Kiva New Orleans was launched in August 2011 and is a coalition of nonprofits, including ASI Federal Credit Union and Good Work Network. Through www.KivaNOLA.org, individuals and organizations are able to donate or loan a sum of money ranging from $25 to $10,000 to the New Orleans business owner of their choice. Good Work Network, a nonprofit micro business development agency, helps businesses to advance their operations to the point that, if it is determined they need a loan, they can be passed on to ASI Credit Union, which has been given a $1.25 million lending capacity through Kiva.
Council President Clarkson said, "Kiva New Orleans is doing incredible work providing access to financing for small disadvantaged businesses unable to secure traditional capital funding to start-up and expand their businesses. This organization is helping people across New Orleans create wealth, jobs and an improved quality of life for entrepreneurs, their families and our community."
District "E" Councilmember Johnson said, "As Chair of the Council's Economic Development and Special Projects Committee, we are very familiar with the work of Kiva New Orleans. We intend to pursue this further at the committee level and work with Kiva New Orleans to ensure that all qualified small businesses and entrepreneurs learn of the benefits and resources provided under this important program."
Extended Alcoholic Beverage Permit Moratorium in District “D” The Council adopted Ordinances Calendar No. 28,819 and Calendar No. 28,820, authored by Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, which extend temporary moratoriums on the issuance and renewal of alcoholic beverage permits within District "D". Ordinance Calendar No. 28,819 extends one moratorium 180 days, from January 15, 2012 to July 12, 2012 and Ordinance Calendar No. 28,820 extends the other moratorium 180 days, from February 11, 2012 to August 8, 2012. These temporary moratoriums offer additional time to fully review alcoholic beverage permits for those establishments that do not hold a current valid alcoholic beverage outlet (ABO) permit or a conditional use to permit an alcoholic beverage outlet and are engaged in the commercial sale of alcoholic beverages. The commercial outlets listed in the ordinances include bars, cocktail lounges, package liquor stores, grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants and tattoo parlors. The moratorium remains in effect while the review and implementation of land use measures are decided by the City Planning Commission. During the moratorium period, ABO permit request appeals may be made and heard before the City Planning Commission and the City Council, as required by the law.
District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "With these ordinances we are simply extending the time period to allow the City Planning Commission a reasonable amount of time to review and consider ABO permit requests. My hope is that today's action will ensure that sound judgments are made to benefit and foster the smart growth and revitalization of the neighborhoods and commercial corridors of Council District 'D'."