December 19, 2013
City Council Chamber
City Council December 19, 2013 Regular Meeting SummaryThursday, December 19, 2013 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council Meeting, the Council passed a motion approving the Orleans Parish School Board's and Recovery School District's plans for use of Harrah's funds. By resolution, the Council terminated Docket No. UD-12-01. The Council also passed a motion waiving all permit fees relative to the "A Day Without Violence" event.
In other business, the Council celebrated the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' 125th anniversary and recognized the Dutch Alley Artist's Co-Op for their creations of artwork displayed throughout the City. The Council also honored the late New Orleans Police Department Lieutenant Christopher Cambiotti.
Approved School System Plans for Harrah's Casino FundsThe Council passed Motion M-13-292 approving the Orleans Parish School Board's (OPSB) and Recovery School District's (RSD) plans for use of a $4,000,000 disbursement from the balance of payments received from Harrah's for the years 2010 through 2013, and authorizing the $4,000,000 disbursement.
The Lease Agreement between the Rivergate Development Corporation (landlord), Jazz Casino, LLC or Harrah's (tenant), and the City, requires that Harrah's make annual payments to the City. These payments are collected by the City on behalf of the OPSB and are dedicated to assisting in the provision of funding for security, health, safety, teaching and learning environments in the Orleans Parish public school system.
The Council has the sole responsibility of approving any disbursement of these funds to the OPSB. In order for funds to be disbursed, the Council must receive detailed plans specifying how the disbursement will be used. The Motion also requires OPSB and RSD make quarterly reports and presentations to the Council's Health, Education and Social Services Committee as to the specific use of the funds.
OPSB and RSD have established the School Facilities Master Plan, a comprehensive plan to address school facilities needs in all areas of the City. OPSB has committed to make a portion of the disbursement available to the state for the use of the RSD, according to the respective proportions of the October enrollment numbers.
OPSB and RSD representatives appeared before the Council to outline their proposals for expenditure of the funds, including upgrades to modular facilities, repairs and refurbishments of permanent facilities, a dedicated fund for unexpected/emergency repairs, and specific funding for at-risk youth programs. The representatives also provided the Council with student enrollment data, statistics on academic achievement and an overview of the many facilities that the RSD and OPSB are responsible for overseeing.
District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "We have been working very closely with the OPSB and RSD to find a way to move forward that will benefit as many students as possible. We are grateful for the continued commitment of the OPSB and RSD to provide our students with a high quality learning environment, and we look forward to seeing the positive effect these funds will have on our schools."
Terminated Docket Related to Application for Entergy and ITC MergerThe Council passed Resolution R-13-493, authored by Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, terminating Docket No. UD-12-01.
The Docket was terminated as a result of the withdrawal of the entirety of the Joint Application submitted by Entergy New Orleans, Inc. (ENO) and Entergy Louisiana, LLC (ELL) on September 12, 2012, requesting Council approval of the transfer of ENO's and ELL's respective transmission businesses into separate transmission companies owned by Mid South TransCo, the spin-off of Mid South TransCo to Entergy Corporation shareholders, and the merger of Mid South TransCo with ITC Midsouth LLC.
As a result of the Applicants' delays and changes, significant additional time and resources were required, leading to a significant increase in the costs of analyzing the Joint Application. After denial by two regulatory bodies, most recently on December 10, 2013, the applicants filed a Notice of Withdrawal of the Joint Application on December 13, 2013.
Recognized Dutch Alley Artist's Co-OpMembers of the Dutch Alley Artist's Co-Op appeared before the Council to be recognized for their artwork displayed throughout the City.
Founded in 2003, the Co-Op is located at 912 N. Peters Street in the historic French Market. The gallery is staffed seven days a week by the Co-Op's more than 25 artists, each of which is featured on the Co-Op's website along with images of their art.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "Our artists are significant contributors to the cultural fabric and unique character of our City. This Co-Op is a wonderful representation of the diverse group of artists that call New Orleans home and I encourage everyone to stop by Dutch Alley to see all that they have to offer."
Honored Contributions of Late NOPD LieutenantThe Council presented a Proclamation honoring the life and contributions of the late New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Lieutenant Christopher Cambiotti, who passed away in a car accident while off duty on October 20, 2012.
Lt. Cambiotti worked in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 8th Districts, as well as the Special Operations Division, spending the last five years of his career as second in command under Commander Robert Norton.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "We want to recognize Lieutenant Cambiotti's many selfless contributions to this City and also celebrate his life. During his time with the NOPD, he worked in five of our City's districts, and I know he will be remembered by all those neighborhoods and communities he touched."
Celebrated LA/SPCA's 125th AnniversaryLouisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) Chief Executive Officer Ana Zorrilla appeared before the Council for a presentation celebrating the LA/SPCA's 125th Anniversary.
The Council presented a Proclamation honoring the LA/SPCA for its 125 years of service to the people and animals of New Orleans. Chartered in 1888, the LA/SPCA is a private non-profit organization committed to advocating for animals through the provision of care and basic medical services.
District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "We take great pride in recognizing organizations dedicated to making a difference in our City. The LA/SPCA's commitment to improving the quality of life of animals in our City is commendable and we hope to see their work continue for many years to come."
Supported "A Day Without Violence" EventThe Council passed Motion M-13-494, authored by Councilmember Gray, waiving all permit fees associated with the "A Day Without Violence" event.
The event will be held at Joe W. Brown Memorial Park Victory Field on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 2 p.m. and will feature the "Who's the Mann 4th Annual High School Classic" football game between the North Louisiana All-Stars and the South Louisiana All-Stars.
The initiative is led by Victor Mann, Sr., with support from Desire Community Housing Corporation and Louisiana High School Athletic Association, and aims to focus on athletes displaying their skills while providing New Orleans high school youth with "A Day Without Violence."
District "E" Councilmember Gray said, "Our high schools are home to many high quality athletes and this event provides them with the opportunity to showcase their talent in front of college scouts and coaches. We wish them all good luck on game day."