December 05, 2013
City Council Chamber
City Council Regular Meeting News Summary December 5, 2013Thursday, December 5, 2013 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council Meeting, the Council passed a motion addressing the use and operation of Orleans Parish Prison buildings. The Council also adopted ordinances extending alcoholic beverage permit moratoriums in District "D". By resolution, the Council called a special election to consider the Lake Willow Subdivision Improvement District Fee and supported funding for the Audubon Commission.
In other business, the Council adopted an ordinance extending the PediCab Pilot Period through February 20, 2014. The Council also celebrated Military Appreciation Day, which included a presentation from representatives of the Mayor's Military Advisory Committee and special recognition of Council President Clarkson.
Addressed Use and Operation of Prison Buildings
The Council passed Motion M-13-444, authored by Councilmember Cantrell, directing the City Planning Commission to conduct a public hearing to consider an amendment to Ordinance No. 24,282 M.C.S., relative to the continued use and operation of buildings providing inmate housing in the Orleans Parish Prison complex.
Construction of an Orleans Parish Prison facility with 1,438 permanent beds is currently under way off Tulane Avenue and is expected to be completed in 2014. If adopted, the amendment would permit the continued use and operation of:
- The Templeman V building to temporarily house special populations, including inmates with medical and mental health needs, while an analysis of those special populations is conducted to determine whether additional permanent facilities are needed to provide for those special populations;
- Buildings 1 and 2 of the 400-bed temporary inmate housing unit for up to 18 months after the 1,438 bed facility at the Templeman III and IV site receives its certificate of use and occupancy, such that in no event shall the total number of inmates housed outside the 1,438 bed facility exceed 500.
District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "My colleagues on the council and I understand that this is an issue that really matters to the public. We are committed not only to reducing the overall number of inmates at the prison, but also to the entire system that contributes to our high incarceration rate. At the same time, we must protect the public safety of our citizens. Reducing violent crime in our City is the first step, and a top priority of this Council."
Called Election to Consider Lake Willow Subdivision Improvement District Fee
The Council passed Resolution R-13-480, authored by Councilmember Gray, calling a special election in the Lake Willow Subdivision Improvement District for Saturday, March 15, 2014 to consider the continued levy of the currently authorized annual Lake Willow Subdivision Improvement District Fee of $300 per parcel within the District for three years. If approved, the measure will take effect on January 1, 2015.
The Lake Willow Subdivision Improvement District is bounded by Morrison Road on the north, the Lawrence Drainage Canal on the west, the I-10 Service Road on the south, and on the east by a line approximately 200 feet west of Crowder Road. The fee is estimated to generate approximately $52,200 annually and is to be used solely to promote and encourage the security, beautification and overall betterment of the Lake Willow Subdivision Improvement District as determined and managed by the Board of Commissioners.
"Putting the Lake Willow tax initiative on the ballot gives the families in the subdivision the power to decide their own fate," District "E" Councilmember James Gray said. "Once the results of the vote are in, I will work with everyone in the community to make Lake Willow a safe and inviting community in which to live, work and play."
Extended PediCab Pilot Period
The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 29,866, authored by Councilmember Gisleson Palmer, to amend and reordain the City Code to extend the PediCab Service Pilot Period from December 31, 2013 to February 20, 2014.
The Pilot Period is designed to facilitate the public adaptation to the presence of pedicabs around the City. The number of permitted pedicabs during the pilot period may not exceed 45.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "We have seen great success in the City's pedicab program. The extension of this pilot period will help the industry to strengthen its presence in the City while continuing to provide an alternative means of transportation."
Extended Alcoholic Beverage Permit Moratoriums in District "D" The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 29,859 and Ordinance Calendar No. 29,860, authored by Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, to extend the effectiveness of Ordinance Nos. 25,153 M.C.S. and 25,154 M.C.S., from January 17, 2014 to July 16, 2014. The ordinances establish temporary moratoriums on the issuance or renewal of alcoholic beverage permits for premises within City Council District "D", excluding those properties bordered by Lakeshore Drive, and for premises located along Chef Menteur Highway and Downman Road.
Specifically, these moratoriums limit the issuance of permits relative to the establishment of bars, cocktail lounges, package liquor stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, drug stores, restaurants or tattoo parlors.
District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "It is critical that we maintain these moratoriums to protect the integrity of our residential neighborhoods, while also supporting the many wonderful local businesses and restaurants in the District."
Celebrated Military Appreciation Day
Chairman of the Mayor's Military Advisory Committee (MMAC) Major General David Mize, USMC Ret., appeared before the Council to lead the annual Military Day presentation.
MMAC representatives presented the MMAC 2013 Annual Report, which included information on the Committee's activities and events over the past year. Leaders from military organizations, including the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and the Louisiana Air and Army National Guard, provided the Council with updates on the programs, projects, and ongoing activities and community involvement of their respective organizations. The Military Day activities also included performances by the United States Marine Corps Band.
To conclude the Military Day presentation, military leaders and MMAC representatives took a moment to recognize and honor Council President Clarkson for her continued support and contributions to local military organizations. Councilmember Clarkson received a command coin from each military organization present and was presented with several awards, including:
- Sieur de Bienville Founders Award, the Mayor's Military Advisory Committee's highest award;
- Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Seven Seals Award;
- Navy League Award for Superior Support of the Naval Services.
Council President Clarkson said, "I've been privileged to have many nice honors, but today ranked at the top because the military is so important to our city and I'm overwhelmingly honored!"
Supported Funding for Audubon Commission
The Council passed Resolution R-13-454, calling an election for Saturday, March 15, 2014, to consider an ad valorem tax of the City of New Orleans relative to the Audubon Commission.
Specifically, the Millage Proposition (In-Lieu Millage) will authorize the City to levy and collect annually a special ad valorem tax not to exceed 4.20 mills on all property subject to taxation within the City for a period of 50 years, beginning in 2015. The tax will be dedicated to and used for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, maintaining or operating works of public improvement of the Audubon Commission. The Audubon Commission operates and maintains Audubon Park, the Aquarium of the Americas, Woldernberg Riverfront Park, the Louisiana Nature Center, and other cultural and educational facilities.
Karyn Kearney, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, IMAX®, Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and Woldenberg Park, appeared before the Council to present the Councilmembers with a summary of the Audubon Nature Institute's community outreach efforts and specific family-oriented promotions at the various Audubon facilities.
Council President Clarkson said, "This is not a millage addition, it is a renewal and it's one of the best uses of public money we have in this city. It provides state of the art facilities for the zoo, aquarium and insectarium and puts us in a global arena with the Species Survival Center. Audubon's outreach programs continue to benefit our under served population."