June 06, 2013
City Council Chamber
City Council June 6, 2013 Regular Meeting Summary
Thursday, June 6, 2013 - New Orleans, La - At today's regular City Council Meeting, the Council passed an Ordinance authorizing the provision of permanent electrical service to the consolidated rental car facility at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. By Resolution, the Council supported the Union Passenger Terminal's application for grant funds to finance updates to the terminal track and designated the organizations to be awarded funding under the City Council/Harrah's Community Support Grants Program.
In other business, the Council recognized John Georges for his recent purchase of The Advocate newspaper, honored retiring WWL-TV News Anchor Angela Hill and received a presentation on the Legend of LIONMAN Presidential One Million Kick Challenge. Councilmembers also recognized Councilmember Hedge-Morrell for her receipt of the Department of Defense Patriot Award and thanked a longtime City Hall volunteer for her years of service.
Supported the Union Passenger Terminal’s Application for Grant Funding
The Council passed Resolution R-13-185, co-authored by Councilmembers Gisleson Palmer and Cantrell, supporting the City of New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal in seeking the TIGER V (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant in order to update the terminal track to a current, more efficient and effective layout and to improve maintenance and overall operations.
The Union Passenger Terminal is an intermodal transportation hub that connects passenger rail, local and long-distance buses and streetcar lines serving the City of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans region. The Terminal also serves as a vital means of evacuation for citizens who have no access to alternate modes of transportation during major storm events. The TIGER V grant would help provide new track technologies and designs that are necessary to improve track operations and to provide better terminal efficiency in order to decrease both delays and cost per trip.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "The Union Passenger Terminal is one of New Orleans' major transportation centers. The TIGER V grant would provide crucial funds to help ensure that a safe and efficient means of transportation is accessible for our citizens who depend on it not only for daily commutes and long distance travel, but also in case of emergency evacuations."
District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "Thousands of travelers pass through the Union Passenger Terminal each year. New track technologies from the TIGER V grant would elevate the level of service that these travelers experience while also saving them money and getting them to where they need to go faster."
Recognized John Georges’ Purchase of The Advocate Newspaper
The Council saluted John Georges for his recent purchase of The Advocate newspaper in May, 2013. The Advocate, based in Baton Rouge, is Louisiana's largest daily print newspaper. In 2012, The Advocate began a daily New Orleans edition in response to The Times Picayune's reduction of print service to three days a week. Mr. Georges purchased the paper from the Manship family who has owned the paper for over a century.
The Council presented Georges with a Proclamation recognizing his purchase of The Advocate, the continuation of seven-day news print service to New Orleans, the opening of the paper's New Orleans bureau and the hiring of experienced long-term New Orleans journalists. Councilmembers also commended Georges for his many philanthropic and community initiatives benefiting education and community preservation.
District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "Mr. Georges has been a tireless supporter of higher education and community building both here in New Orleans and in Louisiana as a whole. The Council is proud to salute Mr. Georges in his acquisition of The Advocate and we are confident he will continue to uphold the high standard of journalistic integrity that the paper has maintained for so many years."
Thanked City Hall Volunteer for Years of ServiceThe Council recognized Audrey Flynn for her 28 years of service as a volunteer at City Hall and for her 70 years as a Registered Nurse. Flynn has volunteered in numerous Council offices and Councilmembers thanked her for her ongoing dedication and commitment to serving the City.
Authorized Provision of Permanent Electrical Service at Airport’s Rental Car Facility
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 29,552, co-authored by Councilmembers Hedge-Morrell, Gisleson Palmer and Gray, authorizing the Mayor, acting by and through the New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB), to enter into the necessary Right of Way agreements with Entergy Louisiana, LLC so that Entergy can provide permanent electrical service to the Consolidated Rental Car Facility at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
The Consolidated Rental Car Facility (CONRAC) is part of a multi-year $400+ million Airport Capital Improvement Program. The CONRAC project provided for:
The proposed Right of Way agreements were approved by the NOAB at its regular meetings on September 20, 2012 and November 15, 2012 and require City Council approval because the agreements transfer an interest in immovable property. The NOAB is charged with the administration, operation, and maintenance of all of the City's municipal airports and aviation facilities.
- Construction of a customer service building, parking garage, utility building and service areas for rental car companies – all connected to the main terminal via covered walkways
- Increased rental car capacity from 800 cars to approximately 1,800 cars
- Consolidated location of rental car company facilities
District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "The airport is our City's first impression on the thousands of visitors that come to New Orleans each year. We want to make sure that their experience in the airport is a good one. The various modernization projects undertaken in the last few years, including the consolidated rental car facility, help us to put our best foot forward."
Honored Retiring WWL-TV News Anchor
At the request of Councilmembers Guidry and Clarkson, the Council presented a Proclamation honoring Angela Hill on the occasion of her retirement as the news anchor of WWL-TV after more than 35 years of dedicated service to the station.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Ms. Hill joined WWL-TV in 1975 and became a regular anchor after only a few months on the news team. Ms. Hill's in-depth reports have covered local, national and international news, and she has received numerous awards including the regional Edward R. Murrow award and the Lifetime Achievement award from the Press Club of New Orleans.
Council President Clarkson said, "Angela Hill has been bringing the news of the world to Southern Louisiana for over three decades. Although we are sad to see her go, the Council is proud to honor the legacy of Ms. Hill and recognize her outstanding commitment to journalism and the impact that her work has had on our City. She has been a role model to professional women who choose to be that successful and still contribute to the community while remaining such a lovely lady."
District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "Angela has been a hallmark of New Orleans broadcast journalism for almost 40 years. She is a wonderful ambassador for our city and her familiar presence in our homes will be missed. We wish her all the best on her retirement."
Received Presentation on One Million Kick Challenge
The Council presented Grandmaster Eric "Lionman" O'Neal, Sr. and Bobby L. Johnson, LIONMAN Foundation member, with a Proclamation commemorating the Legend of LIONMAN Presidential One Million Kick Challenge. The event, to be held on September 17, 2013, is an effort led by Grandmaster O'Neal and Mr. Johnson to bring together over one million people to kick simultaneously to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle and fight to end childhood obesity.
Grandmaster O'Neal, a native of New Orleans, is a seven time USKA World Karate champion and has been inducted into the International Karate Hall of Fame and the Masters Hall of Fame. The challenge will help raise awareness of all forms of karate as exercise and will feature numerous celebrity guest stars including players from the NBA and NFL, and boxers such as Manny Pacquiao. The goal of the event is to break the Guinness Book World Record for most people kicking all over the world in one 24-hour period, while "kicking" obesity out of America.
District "E" Councilmember Gray said, "Grandmaster Eric O'Neal has won the Karate World Championship not once or twice, but seven times. We believe he will bring the same winning efforts to the First Lady's campaign to end childhood obesity. The council supports and will take part in the Legend of Lionman's One Million Kicks Challenge in September 2013, and we invite everyone in the city to sign on and participate. Childhood obesity is a problem New Orleans and the entire nation have to kick!"
Recognized Councilmember Hedge-Morrell's Receipt of Department of Defense Award
Retired Coast Guard Cmdr. and Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR) Area Chairman Larry Jones appeared before the Council with Spc. Joshua Barnett, Public Affairs Specialist, Louisiana National Guard, who also serves as City Council District "D" Communications Director, to present District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell with the Department of Defense Patriot Award for her support of Barnett in his service in the Army National Guard. The Patriot Award is not an employer-wide award, but rather one that recognizes individual bosses nominated by an employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve. Councilmember Hedge-Morrell expressed her gratitude to Barnett for his dedication to serving our country and for honoring her with The Patriot Award.
Designated City Council-Harrah's Community Grant Awards
The Council passed Resolution R-13-182 designating the organizations to be awarded funding under the City Council/Harrah's Community Support Grants Program.
The grant program provides $225,000 annually to deserving non-profits. Its purpose is to foster organizations and projects that contribute to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of the City and have demonstrated their commitment to improving the New Orleans community through their activities and programs.