October 02, 2014
City Council Chamber
City Council Regular Meeting News Summary October 2, 2014
Thursday, October 2, 2014 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council meeting, the Council adopted ordinances amending the City Code to provide parking allowances for vehicles transporting mobility-impaired individuals, allowing the Canal Street Development Corporation to amend and restate one of its leases, and reaffirming the advisory authority of the Lafitte Greenway Steering Advisory Committee.
The Council also passed a resolution approving the issuance of Drainage System Refunding Bonds. The Council adopted motions establishing the Regular Council Meeting and Government Holiday schedules for the year 2015, and issuing a Request for Proposals for public information/communications consultants.
In other business, the Council recognized Lawrence Brooks, a 105 year old New Orleans native and World War II veteran, received a presentation on domestic violence from the New Orleans Family Justice Center and the New Orleans Chapter of the Links, Inc., and issued proclamations recognizing city employees for their exceptional service.
Issued Request for Proposals for Public Information/Communications ConsultantThe Council adopted Motion M-14-425 to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to begin the competitive selection process for a professional consultant or firm of consultants to provide communications and public information activities to the City Council. To view the RFP click here.
Recognized New Orleans Native for World War II Military Service
The Council recognized 105 year-old Lawrence Brooks for his service in the U.S. Army while in New Guinea and the Philippines during the Second World War. Born September 12, 1909, Brooks attained the rank of Private First Class in the 91st Engineer Battalion - a predominantly African American division. He is one of the longest living World War II veterans in the country and has been recognized for his service by a number of national and local organizations, including the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Brooks was married to the late Leona B. Brooks, and is the father of five children and five step-children.
Council President Head said, "So many of our citizens have rich histories and remarkable accomplishments and Mr. Brooks is one of those citizens. His bravery and commitment to our country make us proud to call him one of our own."
"District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "Mr. Brooks is a local and national hero who went above and beyond to protect our freedom. We are truly grateful for his service to our country, and we are honored to recognize him for his dedication to the armed forces and his passion for fine citizenship."
Acknowledged Domestic Violence Awareness Month
The Council received a presentation from Lanaya Carter, MPH, of the New Orleans Family Justice Center (NOFJC) and Judge Terri F. Love of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, recognizing the NOFJC and the New Orleans Chapter of the Links, Inc. for their involvement in Domestic Violence Awareness month. The Council also passed Resolution R-14-412, coauthored by Councilmembers Brossett and Williams, proclaiming the month of October 2014 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
NOFJC was founded in 2007 in partnership with City and other agencies for the purpose of working collaboratively to end issues of family violence, child abuse, sexual assault and stalking. NOFJC provides comprehensive services that focus on counseling and prevention. The New Orleans Chapter of the Links, Inc. is a community service organization that is committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans. The organizations are partnering to raise awareness about domestic violence through community education and provide support to the survivors and families of domestic violence. For information about the various events scheduled throughout the month, click here.
The Council's Resolution highlighted the importance of raising awareness about domestic violence, which is one of the most common and least visible crimes affecting individuals throughout the nation. In Louisiana, the state legislature recently passed six laws during the 2014 Legislative Session to combat domestic violence. In addition, four Louisiana domestic violence programs have been highlighted by the White House as exemplary programs, including NOFJC.
District "C" Councilmember Ramsey said, "Domestic violence is an epidemic in this country and affects adults as well as children. I applaud the New Orleans Family and Justice Center and the New Orleans Chapter of the Links, Inc. for working collaboratively to initiate discussion about this issue and to bring it to the forefront for educational purposes and to effect change."
District "D" Councilmember Brossett said, "The physical and emotional effects of domestic violence are far reaching and can do long-term damage to family relationships. More than 18,000 Louisiana families are affected by domestic violence and I stand with my colleagues and dedicated community leaders to fight domestic violence through legislation and awareness."
Council Vice President Williams said, "The Council and I are proud to formally recognize and applaud the cooperation between the New Orleans Family Justice Center and the powerful women of the New Orleans Chapter of the Links, Inc. for their efforts to champion victims of domestic violence. This is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Someone at this moment is struggling to find a way out of a violent relationship. It's hard to free yourself by yourself. I honor these public servants that are ready to help!"
Provided for Parking Allowance for Vehicles Transporting Mobility-Impaired Individuals
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 30,354 to amend and reordain the City Code to provide that, as it relates to parking along public rights-of-way, vehicles bearing a license plate, hang tag or special parking card issued to a mobility-impaired or disabled person, and being operated for the transport of a mobility-impaired or disabled person may be parked for a period of up to a maximum of three hours without payment.
The provisions are applicable regardless of meter fares required for a particular parking space. However, exclusions apply where ordinances or police regulations:
The City will also recognize hang tags, special parking cards or other removable windshield placards and special plates that have been issued by authorities of other states and countries to identify vehicles transporting mobility-impaired individuals or persons with disabilities.
- Prohibit parking on a highway for the purpose of creating a fire lane;
- Provide for the accommodation of heavy traffic during morning, afternoon or evening hours; or
- Where the motor vehicle is parked in a manner that produces a clear traffic hazard.
Approved Issuance of Drainage System Refunding Bonds The Council passed Resolution R-14-411, approving the Basic Bond Resolution, adopted by the Sewerage & Water Board (S&WB) in September 2014, in connection with the issuance of no more than $17,000,000 of Drainage System Refunding Bonds, Series 2014 of the City of New Orleans, with an interest rate of no more than 5.5% and final maturity no later than December 1, 2022. The Resolution also approves the form, terms, security, manner of execution, repayment schedule and redemption features of the Drainage Bonds.
Pursuant to provisions of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 and other constitutional and statutory authority, the City of New Orleans, acting through the S&WB and the Board of Liquidation, City Debt (The Board of Liquidation), has the power and is authorized to issue bonds for drainage purposes payable from the proceeds of a special ad valorem tax for drainage purposes. The special ad valorem tax was authorized by an election held on May 16, 1981 to be levied for 50 years, beginning in 1982, at a rate of 9 mills. This tax is now levied and collected at a rate of 7.06 mills, which is subject to adjustment due to reassessment. The City is also authorized to issue refunding bonds for the purpose of refunding outstanding indebtedness of the City.
The City, acting through the S&WB and the Board of Liquidation, proposes to issue no more than $17,000,000 of the aforesaid bonds as "Drainage System Refunding Bonds, Series 2014" for the purpose of refunding all or a portion of the City's Drainage System Bonds, Series 1998 and Series 2002 and paying costs of issuance.
Authorized Amendment of Apartments Lease to Provide for Property Improvements The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 30,317, coauthored by Councilmembers Head, Cantrell and Ramsey, to amend Ordinance No. 13,573 M.C.S. to allow the Canal Street Development Corporation (CSDC) to execute an amendment and restatement of the 1994 Apartments Lease authorized by Ordinance No. 13,573 M.C.S.
CSDC is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation formed to stimulate business development in the Central Business District and the adaptive reuse and development of Canal Street for commercial purposes. In September 1989, CSDC accepted, by Act of Donation, certain property rights and improvements of the D.H. Holmes Property, which CSDC then leased to Historic Restoration, Incorporated (HRI) under a single agreement of lease effective as of December 1, 1989. This lease included three properties, which HRI planned to develop for three separate uses, namely a hotel, apartments, and a parking garage. In 1994, HRI's rights with respect to the apartments were transferred and assigned to 800 Iberville Street Limited Partnership.
CSDC and 800 Iberville Street Limited Partnership would like to amend and restate the 1994 Apartments Lease in order to make upgrades and improvements to the apartments, funding for which is being provided by a new lender, in order for the apartments to remain market-competitive.
"District "C" Councilmember Ramsey said, "Thank you to all the parties involved in this project. This is a wonderful example of a public private partnership working collaboratively to promote responsible development in our City."
Reaffirmed Advisory Authority of Lafitte Greenway Steering Advisory Committee
The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 30,365 reaffirming the advisory authority of the Lafitte Greenway Steering Advisory Committee. The advisory committee, which was created in 2007, advises the Council and the Planning Advisory Committee by making recommendations and generating status reports concerning the planning, design, and implementation of the Lafitte Greenway development project. The City's Home Rule Charter mandates that advisory committees must be reappointed annually.
The project is funded by federal disaster recovery funds and Louisiana recreation grants and will revitalize the Lafitte Corridor, which connects six historic neighborhoods from City Park in Mid-City to Louis Armstrong Park in the French Quarter. Once completed, the linear park will include a 2.6 mile hike and bike trail, ball fields, and other multi-purpose recreational areas. The first phase of the project is projected to be completed next year.
District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "The Lafitte Greenway will promote community health and strengthen the neighborhoods along this historic corridor from Basin Street to Mid-City. The Lafitte Greenway Steering Advisory Committee has provided crucial community input and citizen oversight and helped shepherd this project from conception to construction. I look forward to the committee's continued involvement as we move toward the Greenway's eagerly anticipated grand opening in early 2015."
Received Presentation on 2014 Gun Buy Back ProgramThe Council received a presentation from Rev. Norwood Thompson, Jr., City Council Chaplain, accompanied by members of the Greater New Orleans "Gun Buy Back" Committee, Inc., announcing the City's Gun Buy Back initiative, which will take place Saturday, October 25, 2014 at First Pilgrim Baptist Church, 1228 Arts Street, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
The Gun Buy Back program will take place through a partnership with the New Orleans Police Department and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) located in Tasmania, Australia during the unveiling of Prospect 3, New Orleans International Art Biennial. Funding in the amount of $100,000 has been dedicated for the program, and a "no questions asked" guarantee will take effect for individuals who choose to sell a firearm during the Gun Buy Back. The exchange rates are $75 for working handguns and $200 for assault rifles.
Council President Head said, "The Council is committed to spreading the word about this opportunity for citizens to turn over handguns for profit with no questions asked. Thanks to a generous donation by the Museum of Old and New Art and the coordination of many public and private partners, the October 25th Gun Buy Back event will draw handguns and assault rifles from our neighborhoods and ready them for destruction. Our streets will be safer because of it, and for that we are immensely grateful."
Established Regular Council Meeting and Government Holiday Schedules for 2015The Council passed Motions M-14-427 and M-14-428, authored by Councilmembers Head and Williams, establishing the Regular Council Meeting and City Government Holiday schedules for the year 2015. Click here to view the Regular City Council Meeting schedule. Click here to view the City Government Holiday schedule.
Issued Proclamations Recognizing City Employees
Office of Performance and Accountability representative Oliver Wise appeared before the Council to present the most recent recipients of the Mayor's Outstanding Employee Award. The Council issued Proclamations recognizing the recipients of the Mayor's Outstanding Employee Awardfor the second quarter of 2014. The award, which was started last year and is awarded each quarter, recognizes city employees who have been nominated for exceptional service by either a city employee or citizen.
Award recipients for the second quarter of 2014 are:
- Keeley Williams, New Orleans Emergency Medical Services
- Dev Jani, Emergency Management Services Coordinator for the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
- Antonia Cager, Department of Finance, City of New Orleans
- Laurie Wilson, Department of Finance, City of New Orleans
- Det. Barret Morton, New Orleans Police Department
- Eric Ogburn, Web Manager, City of New Orleans
- Det. Corey Lymous, New Orleans Police Department