May 07, 2015
City Council Chamber
City Council May 7, 2015 Regular Meeting News SummaryThursday, May 7, 2015 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council meeting, the Council adopted ordinances authorizing the redevelopment of 2 Canal Street, formerly the World Trade Center Building. The Council also adopted an ordinance to allow the Lake Vista Crime Prevention District to install video surveillance cameras on City owned light poles in the Lake Vista Neighborhood. A resolution was passed supporting the extension of the Louisiana Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits program, and motions were passed to elect Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams as Council President and Councilmember-At-Large Stacy Head as Council Vice President.
In other business, the Council recognized the economic impact of the tourism and hospitality industry, welcomed the Angolan Ambassador and President of the U.S. Angola Chamber of Commerce, and received a special performance of the National Anthem to honor Travis "Trumpet Black" Hill, a renowned New Orleans musician, who passed away earlier this week while on tour in Japan.
Prior to the regular City Council meeting, the Council convened as the Governing Authority of the French Quarter Economic Development District (EDD).
Authorized Crime Camera Installation in the Lake Vista Neighborhood
|District "D" |
The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 30,705 authored by Councilmember Brossett, to authorize a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) between the City and the Lake Vista Crime Prevention District (LVCPD). The CEA allows and facilitates the installation by the Lake Vista Crime Prevention District (LVCPD) of video surveillance cameras on City-owned light poles surrounding and within the Lake Vista Neighborhood.
District "D" Councilmember Brossett said, "This action today clears the way for the Lake Vista Crime Prevention District to install video surveillance cameras on City light poles. I support and will continue to support any and all efforts made by the Lake Vista community and the crime prevention district to keep their neighborhood safe."
Special National Anthem Performance Honored the Late Travis "Trumpet Black" Hill
Acknowledging the contributions of Travis "Trumpet Black" Hill, a renowned trumpeter who passed away earlier this week while on tour in Japan, a special performance of the National Anthem was performed at the opening of the Council's Regular Meeting. Trumpet Black was the grandson of Jessie "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" Hill and grew up in the 6th Ward neighborhood, where he started playing music on plastic buckets and other objects he found in his neighborhood. He played his first shows with his cousins, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and James and Glen David Andrews. He also played with Tuba Fats, and the Lil Rascals, Hot 8 and New Birth brass bands. Trumpet Black is survived by his mother, Dorothy Hill Martin, and brother, Leroy.
|Trumpeters James Andrews and Glen Hall|
Council President Williams said, "I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the Hill family. Travis "Trumpet Black" Hill was a young man who overcame adversity showing all of us just what the human spirit can accomplish. Through his music and his daily life he sent universal messages of hope, joy and peace. Trumpet Black was proud to be a New Orleanian and we were so lucky to have him. He will be sorely missed."
Convened as Governing Authority of the French Quarter Economic Development DistrictPrior to the regular Council meeting, the Council convened as the Governing Authority of the French Quarter Economic Development District (French Quarter EDD) to address matters pertaining to the designated French Quarter EDD. The French Quarter EDD passed Resolution R-2015-01, giving notice of intent to increase the sales tax within the French Quarter EDD by .2495%. The French Quarter EDD also passedMotion M-2015-2, giving notice of intent to adopt a resolution authorizing the calling of an election on October 24, 2015, at which French Quarter voters will be asked to consider the approval of an incremental sales tax increase.
District "C" Councilmember Ramsey said, "I encourage French Quarter residents to vote in support of the ballot measure on October 24th.The increase in sales tax for the French Quarter will help to address crime in that area of the City. This proposal, if approved by voters, ensures that additional resources will be available for the French Quarter and no resources will be diverted from other areas of the City."
The sales tax would be used to fund economic development projects and a long-term contingent of Louisiana State Police troopers to patrol the French Quarter. It is estimated that a quarter cent sales tax, excluding hotel and motel room taxes, within the district boundaries would generate approximately $2 million annually. The French Quarter EDD is bounded by the Mississippi River, the centerline of Canal Street, the rear property line of the properties fronting the lakeside of North Rampart Street, and the rear property line of the properties fronting the downriver side of Esplanade Avenue to the Mississippi River.
Authorized Redevelopment of 2 Canal Street, Formerly WTC Building
Four Seasons New Orleans architect renderings,
formerly the WTC Building
The Council adopted Ordinances Calendar No. 30,691 and Calendar No. 30,692, authored by Councilmembers Cantrell and Ramsey, initiating action to begin the redevelopment of 2 Canal Street, formerly known as the World Trade Center (WTC) building. Ordinance Calendar No. 30,691 authorizes the execution of a long term lease agreement for the purpose of development and operation of a hotel and residences. Ordinance Calendar No. 30,692 authorizes the Mayor of the City of New Orleans to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with the New Orleans Building Corporation (NOBC) allowing for a 99-year sublease to a commercial developer of ground rights pertaining to public property and adjacent parcels at 2 Canal Street. NOBC is a non-profit public benefit corporation formed to own, lease, develop, and operate properties owned by the City of New Orleans.
Under the lease terms, the developer will pay to the City a $1 million nonrefundable deposit at the lease signing. The building's developers plan a $364 million renovation that will include a 350-room, high-end Four Seasons Hotel with 76 condos. The design also adds two wings to the building.
District "C" Councilmember Ramsey said, "The redevelopment of the former World Trade Center will allow an important and iconic part of the New Orleans' skyline to return to use and vibrancy. The proposed hotel and residences will add to the already bustling and exciting pace of the City's Riverfront."
Elected Council President Williams and Vice President Head
|Council President |
The Council passed Motions M-15-799 andM-15-180, electing current Council Vice President Jason Rogers Williams, to his new seat as Council President, and current Council President Stacy Head, to her new seat as Council Vice President. City Council rules alternate the role of Council President and Vice President between the two sitting Councilmembers-at-Large. Terms for both seats begin May 7, 2015 and end on May 6, 2016.
Council President Williams said, "I am proud to assume the responsibilities of Council President and I look forward to working cooperatively with my colleagues as we continue the meaningful work of this Council."
Supported Extension of the Louisiana's Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits Program
The Council passed Resolution No. R-15-185in support of House Bill 387 and Senate Bill 150 which would extend the date of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits program until January 1, 2022. Tax credits are awarded to owners of historic properties for the purposes of redevelopment and rehabilitation. The Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program was established in 2002 to encourage the rehabilitation of historic properties as well as individual homes.
|Council Vice President|
Councilmember Head said, "The Council would like to express support for House Bill 387 and Senate Bill 150, recognizing the tremendous positive impact the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits have had in the redevelopment of many significant real estate developments in the city of New Orleans. Blue Plate Artist Lofts, Hibernia Tower, Carver Theatre and the Myrtle Banks School are just a few examples of catalytic projects in neighborhoods throughout the city that have been supported by Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. Extending the sunset on these important tax credits ensures that we stimulate more economic development, continue to create jobs, revitalize communities, and preserve and maintain our historic architecture for generations to come."
Recognized Economic Impact of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry
|City Council issuing proclamation to Tourism and Hospitality Industry representatives|
The Council recognized the economic and business impact of the Tourism and Hospitality industry. In observance of National Travel and Tourism Week, representatives from the New Orleans tourism and hospitality industry appeared before the Council. New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Board of Directors President, and Roosevelt Hotel GM, Tod Chambers, CVB Senior Vice President Cheryl Teamer, New Orleans Marketing Corporation CEO Mark Romig, and New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association CEO Mavis Early discussed their respective organization's work and industry successes. In 2014, New Orleans hosted 9.52 million visitors, spending a total of $6.81 billion, the highest recorded visitor-spending in the City's history. National Travel and Tourism Week, an annual nationwide tradition since 1983, champions the power of the tourism industry and recognizes tourism professionals and their impact on the U.S. economy.
District "C" Councilmember Ramsey said, "Tourism is the backbone of the New Orleans economy. We owe a great deal to the thousands of local men and women who welcome millions of visitors to our City annually. These hard working folks are the front line of our hospitality industry and their contributions to the economic bottom line should never be taken for granted and always appreciated and recognized."
Welcomed Angolan Ambassador and President of U.S. Angola Chamber of Commerce
|City Council with official delegation from|
the Country of Angola
The Angolan Ambassador to the U.S., Honorable H.E. Agostinho Tavares de Dilva Neto, and U.S. Angola Chamber of Commerce President, Jeannine B. Scott, appeared before the Council. The Republic of Angola received its independence from Portugal in November of 1975. The country is currently experiencing sustained peace, stability and economic growth, which has spurred the trade of Angola's petroleum exports with the United States. The U.S. Angola Chamber of Commerce (USACC) works exclusively to promote trade and investment in Angola. The organization is credited with helping the United States establish diplomatic ties to the country. Today, over 90 U.S. corporations, associations and nonprofit organizations do business in Angola and belong to the USACC. The Country of Angola is celebrating its 40th year of independence. This year, the U.S. Angola Chamber of Commerce achieved a milestone 25th Anniversary. USACC President Jeannine B. Scott, a New Orleans native, was honored with a City Council Proclamation. Scott was recognized for her 30 years of domestic and global humanitarian, economic development, and international development work in the private, non-profit, and government sectors.
District "E" Councilmember Gray said, "Angola is one of the largest trading partners America has in Sub-Sahara Africa and is the ancestral home of a significant number of New Orleanains. It is an honor to celebrate these anniversaries with the Honorable Dilva Neto and Jeannine Scott who have done so much to strengthen U.S. - Angola ties."