November 06, 2014
City Council Chamber
City Council Regular Meeting News Summary November 6, 2014Thursday, November 6, 2014 - New Orleans, LA - At
today's regular City Council meeting, the Council passed Resolutions urging the
United States Department of Justice to allow for the training of more NOPD
recruits, to maintain regulatory standards for Orleans Parish-owned bridges,
and to approve funds from the Harrah's Community Support Grants Program.
The Council adopted Ordinances to facilitate bridge replacement/rehabilitation,
dedicate a portion of CVB Hotel/Motel revenue for French Quarter improvements,
and approve a lease of Municipal Yacht Harbor property to Community Sailing New
Orleans, Inc. The Council also adopted Motions relative to a Conditional Use
for and redefinition of "bed and breakfast accommodation."
In other business, the Council received presentations from Cypress Academy
regarding the inaugural Cypress Academy Math Jam, and student government
associations relative to local efforts to promote smoke-free college and
Urged United States Department of Justice to Allow for the Training of More NOPD Recruits
The Council passed Resolution R-14-476,
authored by all councilmembers, urging the United States Department of Justice
to amend the "Consent Decree Between the United States and the City of New
Orleans to Reform the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD)" to allow
for the training of a greater number of police recruits. Per the Consent
Decree, NOPD is currently allowed to train a maximum of 30 qualified candidates
per class. The Resolution requests that Judge Susie Morgan of the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Section E,
consider an amendment to increase the maximum number of recruit class
participants to 50 to meet an increased demand for qualified and trainable
NOPD is working collaboratively with the New Orleans Police and Justice
Foundation and the Civil Service Commission to recruit more qualified
post-certified officers to serve as police officers. Their collaborative
efforts have focused on increased advertisements and streamlining the
application process. As a result, the NOPD has experienced an increase in the
number of qualified applicants seeking opportunities within NOPD, as well as
the number of recruits who are ready to begin the police academy. According to
NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison, the police academy can accommodate up to
50 candidates per recruit class without sacrificing the quality or quantity of
training while remaining in compliance with the Consent Decree.
Council President Head said, "Citizen safety and NOPD operations are
stronger when we have more police officers assigned throughout the City. This
request to have the Consent Decree amended aligns with our commitment to
support the department in its recruitment efforts and ultimate purpose of
serving and protecting the citizens of New Orleans at a greater level."
Passed Measures Pertaining to Bridge Infrastructure & StandardsThe Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 30,404,
coauthored by Councilmembers Guidry and Brossett, authorizing the Mayor to
enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the Louisiana Department of
Transportation and Development (LADOTD) to allow and facilitate bridge
replacement or rehabilitation as approved by LADOTD and the Federal Highway
Administration from the City's approved priority list. In a related matter, the
Council adopted Resolution
R-14-469 attesting that certain inspections, ratings and safety
standards for all Parish-owned bridges within the City of New Orleans are
appropriately certified and relayed to LADOTD.
In accordance with the Surface Transportation Act of 1978, the United States
Congress has mandated that all bridges located on all public roads be
inspected, rated for safe load capacity, and so posted in accordance with the
National Bridge Inspection Standards. LADOTD has delegated this responsibility
to Orleans Parish, and compliance with such regulations is required in order
for the Parish to continue to participate in the Off-System Bridge Replacement
Program to receive federal and/or other non-local funds as they may become
available for such structures.
Councilmember Guidry said, "Through the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement the
City will work closely with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and
Development on key bridge projects in Orleans Parish. This is an appropriate
step forward in the City's commitment to enhancing critical transportation
Transportation and Airport Committee Chair Councilmember Brossett said,
"We have an obligation to ensure that commuter safety and proper
infrastructure are priorities for all Orleans Parish bridges and we will
continue to oversee the City's management of bridge repairs or replacements as
prioritized by the administration."
Appropriated Funds from Harrah's Community Support Grant Program
The Council passed Resolution R-14-466
approving grant funding from the Harrah's Community Support Grants Program to
eligible New Orleans organizations. The grant fund exists to foster
organizations and projects that contribute to the economic, cultural and civic
fabric of the City.
The Council approved grant funding of approximately $98,600. Among the
organizations receiving grants are: Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic
Training; Women with a Vision Inc.; The New Orleans Council for Community &
Justice; Green Light New Orleans; New Orleans Arts and Cultural Host Committee,
Inc.; Human Rights Law Center of Louisiana, Inc.; The Young Leadership Council
Foundation; Children's Bureau of New Orleans; Neighborhoods Planning &
Community Development Network; Uptown Music Theater; Lafayette Square Conservancy,
Inc.; Broadmoor Improvement Association, Inc.; and the Urban Conservancy.
Councilmember Guidry said, "The Council appreciates Harrah's for giving us
this wonderful opportunity to support some of the many organizations that are
working hard in communities across our city. District A is home to incredibly
dedicated community leaders, and I am proud to recognize their efforts and to
support their future endeavors."
District "C" Councilmember Ramsey said, "These invaluable
organizations provide vital services to our citizens and contribute to the
vibrancy of our City. It is a privilege to help support their efforts through
Harrah's Community Support Grants."
Requested Public Hearings on Conditional Use for and Redefinition of "Bed and Breakfast"
The Council passed Motion M-14-477,
authored by Councilmember Brossett, directing the City Planning Commission
(CPC) to conduct a public hearing to consider a request by the City to rescind
Ordinance No. 19,536 M.C.S. (Z.D. 104/99), and to authorize a Conditional Use
to permit a bed and breakfast historic home on the property located at 2552
Saint Philip Street.
Ordinance No. 19,536 M.C.S., adopted in 2000, provides for the establishment of
a Conditional Use to permit a community center at 2552 St. Philip Street, which
previously operated as a City jail. This previously approved Conditional Use
must be rescinded before the Conditional Use to permit a bed and breakfast
historic home on the property can be authorized.
Additionally, the Council passed Motion
M-14-478, authored by Councilmember Brossett, directing the CPC
to conduct a public hearing to consider an amendment to Ordinance No. 4264
M.C.S. (the City's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance) to amend the definition of
"Bed and Breakfast Accommodation." Specifically, the text amendment
will allow a former institutional or commercial structure to be converted into
a bed and breakfast.
District "D" Councilmember Brossett said, "This project
will take a historic property and bring it back into commerce, providing a high
quality and appropriately located bed and breakfast for visitors to our City.
Treme is one of our most culturally significant neighborhoods and I look
forward to seeing this blighted structure become a jewel of the neighborhood.
We thank the owners for working with the community and we look forward to
seeing the development of this property."
Approved Lease of Municipal Yacht Harbor Land to Community Sailing GroupThe Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 30,422,
coauthored by Councilmembers Guidry and Brossett, approving a certain lease of
city-owned property at New Orleans Municipal Yacht Harbor by the New Orleans
Municipal Yacht Harbor Management Corporation (MYHMC) to Community Sailing New
Orleans, Inc. (CSNOI).
Sailing New Orleans, Inc. is
a not for profit corporation, which aims to eliminate economic and physical
obstacles to sailing in the Greater New Orleans area. Once the lease is
approved, CSNOI plans to begin fundraising, formal design and construction of a
Community Sailing Center in the southeast corner of the Municipal Yacht Harbor.
The facility will include meeting and staffing space, locker rooms, equipment
storage space and boats for safety and coaching use. CSNOI President John
Manard estimated that the fundraising effort to raise $3.5 million for the
project will take approximately two years and construction of the building will
take one year.
The MYHMC Board of
Directors has approved the lease agreement and has recommended approval by the
City Council. The MYHMC is a public benefit corporation of the City of New
Orleans. In 2006, the City entered into a lease with the MYHMC in which all
rights of the City on the Municipal Yacht Harbor were leased to the MYHMC. The
City's lease with MYHMC allows MYHMC to sublease city-owned land at the
Municipal Yacht Harbor as long as the MYHMC complies with Section 2-928 of the
City Code and has had the lease approved by an adopted ordinance of the City
"A" Councilmember Guidry said, "Our City's proximity and access
to waterways is part of what makes New Orleans so unique. The lakefront is a
favorite recreation space for residents and visitors, and this community
sailing center will broaden access to sailing and provide instruction and
training for those interested in learning to sail. We thank Community Sailing
New Orleans for leading the development of this wonderful new facility."
Recognized Student Government Efforts to Promote Smoke-Free CampusesRepresentatives from the
Louisiana Public Health Institute and local colleges and universities appeared
before the Council to give a presentation on their efforts to promote and
maintain smoke-free campuses around New Orleans. The representatives provided
updates on the efforts on individual campuses and proudly announced that all
college campuses in the City, both public and private, are tobacco free.
The Council presented certificates of achievement for all New Orleans college
and university campuses in recognition of their initiatives to support
tobacco-free living and a healthier New Orleans.
District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "We are so
proud of the efforts on our local college campuses to create healthy living,
working and learning environments through the promotion of tobacco free
campuses. The support of our youth communities, as well as local and national health
and wellness organizations, is critically important to our efforts to create a
Acknowledged Cypress Academy’s Inaugural Math Jam
The Council received a
presentation from school leaders at Cypress Academy
pertaining to the school's inaugural Cypress Academy Math Jam,
organized in partnership with Council Vice President Jason Williams. The first
event will take place on November 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Hard Rock
Construction, LLC, located at 2305
L and A Road in Metairie.
Cypress Math Jam is a monthly event that allows 5th grade students from
local schools to compete against area small businesses. The purpose of the
event is to highlight schools and businesses that work in Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Other businesses participating throughout
the year are Entergy New Orleans, Inc., CDM Smith Inc., HNTB, Royal
Engineering, JRW and Associates Law Office, and Integrated Logistical Support
Cypress Academy is a new charter school that was recently chartered by the
Orleans Parish School Board. The school is slated to open in August 2015 with a
kindergarten class of 100 and will provide prioritized focus on 21st century
learning and early intervention for students with reading
Dedicated a Portion of CVB Hotel/Motel Revenue for French Quarter Improvements
The Council approved Ordinance Calendar No. 30,352,
authored by Councilmember Ramsey, authorizing the Mayor to enter into a
Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with the New Orleans Convention and
Visitors Bureau (CVB) to allow the CVB to remit to the City a portion of the
collection of its assessment against hotel and motel members, which were
collected from the sale and use of hotel or motel rooms in Orleans Parish. The
dedicated revenue will be used to enhance services and infrastructure
improvements in the French Quarter.
The Council also passed Ordinance
Calendar Nos. 30,376 and
30,377, amending the City's 2014 Operating Budgets of Revenues
and Expenditures, to appropriate $3 million in French Quarter Improvement Funds
from Intergovernmental transfers to the Department of Police for NOLA Patrol
and equipment, and to the Department of Public Works for French Quarter street
light repairs, pavement assessment project and emergency sidewalk and
District "C" Councilmember Ramsey said, "Today we passed
historic legislation to create a dedicated fund from private resources to
provide security and infrastructure improvements to the French Quarter.
The funds will be used for the services such as Nola Patrols and sidewalk and
street light repairs."