November 17, 2016
City Council Chamber
City Council Regular Meeting News Summary November 17, 2016
NEW ORLEANS - At today's City Council meeting, the Council adopted the 2017 Budget Ordinances, passed a motion amending electric vehicle space allocation, approved the creation of local historic districts, adopted a motion to incorporate recommendations per the Affordable Housing Impact Study and approved proposed rules and regulations relative to the HIRENOLA program.
Additionally, the Council received a presentation from LifeCity regarding America Recycles Day and local recycling efforts as well as a presentation from the Bureau of Infectious Disease and the Office of Public Health regarding the 3rd annual NOLA HIV/AIDS Awareness Week.
Council Approves Proposed Rules and Regulations Relative to HIRENOLA Program
The Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the adoption of rules and regulations for the HIRENOLA program, conceived October 1, 2015, successfully creating the City's first local worker participation program.
The rules and regulations, which apply to "covered projects", or those not utilizing federal or state funds, will be implemented by The Office of Workforce Development (OWD). These will include matters of records, monitoring and compliance, hiring discretion, compliance with state and federal laws and local participation goals associated with the HIRENOLA program.
"Work funded by the City of New Orleans ought to go to residents of New Orleans. This council and the mayor are working hard to put in place a system that will give locals a stake in the economic boom they see going on around them," said District "E" Councilmember Gray. "As we allocate large amounts of public money for infrastructure and other multi-million dollar projects, we want to ensure that our citizens have an opportunity to participate and prosper."
City Council Hears Recycling Presentation and Passes Resolution Following America Recycles DayIn honor of America Recycles Day, the City Council received a presentation from Liz Shephard with LifeCity following the success of America Recycles Day New Orleans. The presentation focused on the short-term and long-term benefits of Recycling to the city of New Orleans both environmentally and economically.
Following the presentation, the Council unanimously passed a resolution to recognize that the City of New Orleans continuously encourages recycling to reduce the volume of waste sent to landfills. Additionally, the resolution recognized November 15 as annual America Recycles Day in New Orleans.
The resolution was in response to a finding that New Orleans recycled only approximately 5 percent of its waste. Increased recycling efforts will support the City's Resilience plan by leveraging sustainability as a growth strategy, supporting more equitable public health outcomes for the community, creating a culture of environmental awareness and significantly reducing the volume of material disposed at landfills.
Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Amendment Passes to Count Electric Vehicle Spaces in Overall RequirementsThe Council passed a motion to amend the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance to include electric vehicle parking spots as counting toward the parking requirements. The motion was an amendment to legislation passed in September that supports the use of electric vehicles in the city and promote citywide preparation for future climate change.
The Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance's language did not allow electric vehicle parking spot to count toward the allocated parking requirements. This motion removed the prohibition allowing electric vehicle parking spots to count the same as regular spots. This motion passed with full support of the City Planning Commission, the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership, the Regional Planning Commission, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Algiers Point Association.
Council Passes Motion to Incorporate Recommendations Provided in Affordable Housing Impact Study
The Council heard from Andreanecia Morris, director of Housing NOLA, on the priority of affordable housing and the need for the recommendations in the Affordable Housing Impact Statement.
Following the presentation, the Council unanimously passed the motion to direct the City Planning Commission to conduct a public hearing considering amendments to incorporate provided recommendations. More specifically, to require affordable housing impact statements (AHIS) for all applications seeking density bonuses as provided in the current comprehensive zoning ordinance.
Council Adopts 2017 Budget Ordinances The Council adopted 2017 operating budgets of revenues and expenditures totaling nearly $615 million. Additionally, the Council adopted the 2017 Capital budget, which allows the for unprecedented investment in public infrastructure. Finally, the Council adopted ordinances to levy ad valorem taxes upon property in Orleans Parish, and to levy fees on property located in special security and improvement taxing districts.
The Council passed amendments to the Mayor's Executive budget that restore funding for the Council on Aging, the Children and Youth Planning Board and the LSU Ag Center, as well as increase funding for the Louisiana SPCA, and funding for pretrial services, among other things.
"I think we've had some good collaboration among the council and all parties involved", said District "A" Councilmember Susan Guidry. "This has been one of our smoothest budget seasons. I appreciate the inclusion of funding for the LSU Southern Ag Center and the Children and Youth Planning Board in the upcoming 2017 City Budget in addition to increased funding for the LASPCA, Coroner's Office and Council on Aging."
Council Receives Presentation from Office of Public Health STD/HIV Program
Dr. Deann Gruber, Director of the Bureau of Infectious Disease and the Office of Public Health STD/HIV Program, gave a presentation on the current epidemic of HIV in New Orleans. The Council recognized the 3rd annual NOLA HIV/AIDS Awareness Week, November 28 - December 3 in support of National World AIDS Day on December 1.
The spread of HIV/AIDS continues to have a significant impact on the public health of Louisiana. According to the Louisiana HIV/STD statistics, in 2015, 1,139 persons were diagnosed with HIV for a rate of 24.4 per 100,000. The STD/HIV program's mission is to lead the effort to build a holistic, integrated and innovative system of STD and HIV prevention as well as provide care and education that eliminates health inequities. The program works to achieve a statewide awareness while promoting an increased investment in sexual health.
"We have the tools to end this epidemic, but we aren't using them as effectively as we need to be," said District "A" Councilmember Guidry. "We need to encourage everyone to get out and educate people on the importance of getting tested."
In recognition of World AIDS Day, there will be a week-long list of activities surrounding HIV awareness and testing all around the greater New Orleans area. Events will include: a Health Fest sponsored by District "B" Councilmember LaToya Cantrell, "Riding Red in the City" Bike Ride and Art Against AIDS Gala. For a full list of events view here