Entergy's inability to finance the Sewerage & Water Board doesn't stop this project because the big difference is that the City now has American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars in hand. Using ARPA funds to pay for the SWBNO substation is now the most straightforward solution to funding this project, and it's also the cheapest for ratepayers. For Entergy to finance the substation means SWBNO ratepayers would be on the hook for almost $30 million in construction costs and another $7 million in Entergy profit. The City can save SWBNO ratepayers money and keep this project moving forward by paying upfront and with ARPA dollars. It is encouraged that ARPA dollars be utilized for infrastructure investments, particularly pertaining to water and drainage infrastructure. So here it is.
This substation secures cleaner, more reliable pumping and drinking water infrastructure, and it is a no-brainer for a safer New Orleans. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Council to allocate this funding to protect our people from storms and unnecessary costs.