Squandered Heritage Vintage

City budgets money for destruction of lower Mid City

2410 Cleveland

Kate Schneiderman, a spokesman for Councilman Arnie Fielkow, said the City Council needs to approve the expenditure of the entire $79 million. The money comes from several sources in the city budget, including the mayor’s office and the Office of Recovery and Development Administration, and she said a taxpayer perusing the budget for a lump sum will not find it.

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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use for Squandered Heritage. For her work with television reporter Lee Zurik exposing widespread misuse of city recovery funds — which led to guilty pleas in federal court — Gadbois won some of the highest honors in journalism, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • Billygoat Park

    Yesterday’s announcement from Clarkson and Jefferson has preceded the November 15th end of the VA’s public comment period.

    Heckuva way to honor those who fight, suffer and and sometimes die to preserve democracy.

  • Billygoat Park

    When was this undated notice of the city’s intent to use federal funds to build in a 100 year flood plain actually produced? Why does the online document, which was posted earlier today, contain the words [date issued] instead of an actual date?


    Why has the same project website as yet failed to post an official transcript of the scoping meeting helds at Warren Easton on the evening of October 28th?

    The public comment period for VA site selection ends in 48 hours, on Saturday the 15th.

  • KamaAina

    Aloha! You may not know me, but Wet Bank, Editor B, Adrastos and others do (though they may be loath to admit it). True, I’ve been out of the city for far too long (1991), but the neighborhood that’s threatened here is the very one where I made friends (and a few enemies) while participating in the clinic defense movement (Orleans clinic was then located where Banks slants off Tulane).

    “An amended version of that agreement, signed in August but just released for public consumption, places the city on the hook for $79 million to buy houses and businesses, relocate their occupants and provide social services associated with the move. ” Relocate their occupants?! How exactly do they propose to do that?! There are over 100,000 New Orleanians who are still displaced more than three years after the Federal Flood, because they can’t find low-cost housing! If the city can relocate these people, why can’t it resetlle the others?

    Meanwhile, a quick galnce at this T-P graphic:


    shows *eleven city blocks* given over to *surface parking lots*! Why don’t they take their $79 million and build an adequate parking garage?! That way they could keep the project riverside of S. Galvez, which was always more commercial and less residential.

    As to Lindy Boggs, a quick check of Editor B’s archives from June will confirm that I was among the first to get on that, except that I had LSU going there and the VA possibly to “Federal City” in Algiers (does Nagin know that’s within city limits?)

  • The public can email comments on the VA site selection to


  • Billygoat Park

    Tell the world what we cannot.
    Shine lights where we can never reach.

    The public has never seen the agreement in which Nagin courted the VA by offering up a community struggling to recover from the greated man-made disaster in this nation’s history. Those affected by this backroom pact learned in the morning paper that they were to face involuntary expropriation.

    Does anyone care that the REAL reason why HOMEWONERS haven’t fixed their places or made better progress in this MidCity community? It is because their own elected officials banned them from doing it. The progress you see among the returning and struggling residents came from their OWN sweat equity, their own sense of community and from volunteers.

    Public funds have been and will be used to destroy a community which was making progress until its own elected officials sold it out in secrecy.

    At the VA’s public scoping meeting on the evening of August 26, 2008, Chief Deputy City Attorney Brenda Breaux responded to a question about the building permit moratorium by declaring
    ” the moratorium did not prohibit the rebuilding or the reconstruction. What it provided for was an additional review by the City Planning Commission. That was what the moratorium provided for.”

    The actual wording of ordinance 22,944 m.c.s, as published in the May 22, 2008 edition of the Times-Picayune reads:

    “Section 1. The Council of the City of New Orleans hereby ordains that no person shall be issued any building permit for construction, renovations, repairs, or for demolition in the area bounded by the west side of S. Claiborne Avenue between Tulane Avenue and Canal Street, the south side of Canal Street between S. Claiborne Avenue and S. Rocheblave Street, the east side of S. Rocheblave Street between Canal Street and Tulane Avenue, and the north side of Tulane Avenue between S. Rocheblave Street and S. Claiborne Avenue, excluding
    Square 556.”

    Look at all post-K recovery graphics.

    Look who’s missing.

    A community which welcomed the return of quality medical care and hoped to co-exist as neighbors. This is not a case of NIMBY. The community already knew of plans for new hospitals that were in their own back yards.

    When and how did plans change to call for the obliteration of the neighboring community?

    Why isn’t rebuilding or location at the Boggs site not viable? Well… tell us. And tell us everyone who had a hand in funding or consulting. Let us judge for ourselves.