December 03, 2020 10:00 AM
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NEW ORLEANS - During today’s regular meeting, the City Council adopted resolutions approving the issuance of City of New Orleans water and sewerage revenue bonds, passed new grass management requirements for property owners, approved a series of budget amendment ordinances, and asked the City Planning Commission (CPC) to consider definitions and standards for shooting ranges.
City Budget Items Amended to Account for End-of-Year Changes
The Council approved several items amending the City Budget to reappropriate certain resources, account for overages, and rollover unexpended funds into the coming fiscal year 2021.
Ordinance 33,149 amends the 2020 Operating Budget of Expenditures to transfer funds within the City’s General Fund to various departments to cover overages incurred during the year. This item represents the annual “clean-up” ordinance intended to rectify departmental overages in personal services based upon the City’s monthly projection.
Ordinance 33,181 amends the 2020 Capital Budget to reappropriate certain funds amongst City agencies due to changes since the ordinance was originally adopted by the Council.
In accordance with the provisions of the City Charter, Ordinance 33,182 amends the 2020 Capital Budget to rollover all unexpended Capital Funds into 2021, with the exception of those outlined in the ordinance.
New Grass Management Requirements for Property Owners
The Council passed Ordinance 33,180, amending the City Code to require property owners to keep grass below 10 inches and clarify notice requirements for billing work done by the City. The 10-inch violation height for overgrown grass represents a decrease from the previous standard of 18 inches.
Additionally, this ordinance implements changes to the cost recovery process, reducing the time for notice from seven to five days, and permitting the City to perform monthly abatement and to place costs on the tax bill.
The updated regulations were developed with the ultimate goal of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the City’s Lot Abatement Program by enhancing its ability to compel compliance and ensure cost recovery.
Advocate staff photo via NOLA.com
Council Approves City Water & Sewerage Revenue Bonds
The Council adopted two resolutions (R-20-412 & R-20-413) approving City of New Orleans Water Revenue Refunding and Sewerage Service Revenue Refunding Bonds. R-20-412 authorizes the issuance of up to $200M of Water Revenue Refunding Bonds, and R-20-413 approves the issuance of up to $215M of City Sewerage Service Revenue Refunding Bonds.
Each of these bonds will bear interest at a rate of up to 6 percent per year and will be administered by the Board of Liquidation for the purpose of managing, operating, and maintaining citywide sewerage and water systems.
Through the proposed refinancing of the existing sewerage and water bonds, the City is expected to generate approximately $16M in cost savings. Both bond initiatives will come back to City Council for final approval in January.
CPC to Study Definitions & Use Standards for Shooting Ranges
With its approval of Motion M-20-416, the Council has directed the CPC to conduct a public hearing to consider definitions and use standards for "shooting ranges" or "shooting galleries" in certain areas of the city. The purpose of this request is to determine specific use tables in appropriate districts, establish site design standards, and provide recommendations to the Council for any other amendments deemed necessary. CPC staff will be tasked with considering both indoor and outdoor uses, as well as on-site retail sales.
Over the course of its review, the CPC will also research and study current regulations in effect in similar municipalities, including nearby parishes in Southeastern Louisiana, as well as applicable state regulations, to guide potential amendments.