September 20, 2012
City Council Chamber
City Council September 20, 2012 Regular Meeting Summary
Thursday, September 20, 2012 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council Meeting, the Council approved agreements to redevelop the Riverwalk Marketplace; and the New Orleans East Hospital took another step forward with the authorization of FEMA Hazard Mitigation funds for structural safety construction.
In other business, the Council passed a variety of measures that will impact emergency medical services, 911 communication and regional emergency preparedness activities. By resolution, the Council recommended exploring options to require on-site backup generators at residential facilities housing senior and disabled citizens.
Also today, in the Council Chamber, former New Orleans Saint and Saints and Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer Deuce McAllister and founder of the "Friends of the Ferry" Fay Faron were honored.
Approved Agreements to Redevelop the Riverwalk Marketplace
The Council adopted Ordinances Calendar No. 29,149 and 29,150, authored by Council President Head and Councilmember Gisleson Palmer, that authorized the Mayor of New Orleans through the New Orleans Building Corporation, to enter into a variety of servitude and lease agreements. These agreements clear the way for the redevelopment of the Riverwalk and impact public property owned by the City on the east bank of the Mississippi River - from Canal Street to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The Howard Hughes Corporation announced earlier this summer that it will spend $70 million to redevelop the Riverwalk as an upscale outlet center called the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk. The mall will be expanded by 50,000 square feet to 250,000 square feet. The development will showcase top retail outlet shops, dining and entertainment venues. This is the first Hughes Corporation outlet center to locate in a major metropolitan downtown area. Construction will begin later this year with a completion date and reopening projected for late 2013.
Council President Head said, "This is an exciting project for Downtown New Orleans. Bringing the Riverwalk back into commerce by adding a new and exciting retail component will revitalize a favorite local shopping area in addition to attracting regional visitors."
Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "From the Moon Walk in the French Quarter to the Riverwalk at Canal Street - this is one of our City's signature corridors. This project will inject energy and vibrancy into the corridor and provide innovative retail options never previously enjoyed."
Recommended Generators Be Required at Residential Facilities Housing Senior and Disabled Citizens
The Council passed Resolution R-12-344, co-authored by Councilmembers Hedge-Morrell, Gisleson Palmer, Head, Clarkson,Guidry, Bajoie, and Charbonnet, designed to relieve senior and disabled citizens suffering without electricity during and in the aftermath of weather emergency electrical power outages. The proposed measure recommends that state law require owners and developers of nursing homes and residential buildings, as a condition of receipt of state tax credit incentives, to equip their facilities with on-site backup generators. The resolution states that the location of permanent backup generators on the premises of nursing homes and residential buildings can reduce health issues and the possibility of loss of life due to extreme heat, cold, or other weather conditions. The Council will work with Louisiana State Senator J.P. Morrell and State Representative Jared Brossett to impact regulation and enforcement to support this measure.
District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "This was a critical problem during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac. Many of our City's senior and disabled citizens chose to remain in their homes or were housed in nursing homes and residential buildings without the capability of relocating even temporarily. This measure recommends that the responsibility be placed on owners and developers of these facilities to provide on-site working backup generators to accommodate residents."
Authorized Hazard Mitigation Funds for New Orleans East Hospital Construction
The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 29, 187, co-authored by Councilmember Charbonnet and Council Vice President Clarkson, that authorizes the Mayor of New Orleans to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the City and the Orleans Parish Hospital Service District A (HSD) to utilize the $8.4 Million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds. The purpose of the grant funds is to reduce and manage risks to human life, the environment and property for the New Orleans East Hospital. The HMGP funds will be utilized to strengthen the outside envelope of the structure for enhanced protection against wind hazards, and the utility controls and backup generators will be elevated to a sufficient height that protects the master control system from damage by potential flood waters. Major progress has been made towards the building of the new hospital. Since last year, $26 million in new funds have been acquired for the hospital. Earlier this summer, the HSD submitted an application for a loan guarantee to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Design drawings for the facility have been completed and construction documents are in development.
District "E" Councilmember Charbonnet said, "These funds will ensure the structural safety of the hospital in the event of natural and man-made disasters. This is progress for the citizens of New Orleans East, as we move a step closer to having a high quality, full service hospital."
Authorized Measures Impacting Emergency Medical Services, 911 Communication and Emergency Preparedness Regional Activities
The Council adopted Ordinances Calendar No. 29,192 and Calendar No. 29,177 and Resolution R-12-339, authored by Council Vice President Clarkson, that authorized a variety of measures impacting emergency medical services, 911 communications and emergency preparedness activities. A new ordinance will streamline fee and permit and license requirements for private providers of ambulance services, emergency medical services and ambulance operations. A special election was called for Saturday December 8th for the Orleans Parish Communications District. Orleans Parish voters will decide a ballot proposition that authorizes the Orleans Parish Communication District to establish and increase emergency telephone service charges for 911 services on residential, commercial, wireless commercial mobile radio and residential and commercial interconnected voice over internet services. Should voters approve the ballot proposition, the service charge will be fixed and levied in perpetuity and used to continue consolidation of Orleans Parish EMS, Fire and Police 911 assets. The City will enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the parishes of Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines to form the New Orleans Urban Security Initiative (UASI) Region to increase regional emergency preparedness. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) identified the City of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes of Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines as highly vulnerable to a terrorist attack with potential for major damage to the regional infrastructure and direct impact to the economic security of the United States. DHS has designated the New Orleans area as an Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) under the Homeland Security Grant Program. The federal designation provides enhanced federal preparedness funding to cities identified as vital to the Nation's economy and national security and encourages regional cooperation in emergency preparedness and response. A regional intergovernmental working group will guide collaboration in planning and response.
Council Vice President Clarkson said, "The Urban Security Initiative will enhance the collective emergency preparedness capabilities of all first responders and the agencies within the Urban Area and the Southeast Region. We are committed to prevent, protect, respond and recover from man-made emergencies and natural disasters - always with the safety and well being of the public foremost in our minds."
Honored Former New Orleans Saint Deuce McAllister
The Council honored former New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister for his recent induction into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. McAllister began his career with the New Orleans Saints after being selected 23rd overall in the 2001 NFL draft. Most people remember him for his power, or for those thick legs relentlessly churning forward for extra yards. McAllister is a fan favorite and the team's go to guy for many memorable fourth-and-inches conversions. From the 2001 to 2003 seasons, Deuce rushed for over 4,000 yards and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. His career hit a roadblock in 2005 when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee. Then after bouncing back in the 2006 season with his fourth 1,000 yard season he tore his left ACL in 2007 which eventually led to his retirement in 2008.The Saints organization demonstrated its love and respect for Deuce when the team re-signed him during the 2009-2010 playoffs. He led the team onto the field and was ultimately awarded a Super Bowl ring after the team's historic Super Bowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
District "B" Councilmember Diana Bajoie said, "On and off the field Deuce is an ideal role model for the children and youth of New Orleans. The City Council is delighted to have Deuce McAllister in the Chamber, a true Saints great. Congratulations on your induction into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame."
Recognized Fay Faron, Founder of "Friends of the Ferry"The Council passed Resolution R-12-347, co-authored by Council Vice President Clarkson and Councilmember Gisleson Palmer commending the leadership and commitment of Fay Faron, President and founder of the non-profit "Friends of the Ferry." Started in 2006, "Friends of the Ferry" is the first citizen grassroots organization to effectively bring public and political awareness to the necessity of our City's ferries. The organization's mission supports, protects and enhances the continued operation of the ferries in the Greater New Orleans Area. Recently, ferry operation funding has been in jeopardy with the possibility of the removal of tolls from the Crescent City Connection (CCC). Fay Faron worked to support and promote the bill in the Legislature that would allow the continuation of the CCC tolls by a vote of the people. Funding from the CCC tolls finances a portion of the operation of the ferry system.
Vice President Clarkson said, "Fay Faron has created and led "Friends of the Ferry" since 2006, mounting the first private citizens' grassroots organization and effectively bringing public and political awareness to the necessity of our ferries. For many years, while local and State elected officials of Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parishes have mounted support for our ferries, Fay Faron has led this citizen movement to significance and effectiveness."
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "The Mississippi River ferries are a vital component of our public transportation system. They are practical and sustainable modes of travel across our community. And, they especially belong uniquely to the culture of New Orleans."