Gulf Coast states lag behind other states in getting contracts for oil disaster work

An overwhelming number of federal contracts related to the BP oil disaster have gone to companies outside of the area most affected by the environmental and economic catastrophe, according to data from government agencies. About $6.5 million in federal contracting money has gone to Louisiana since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the state’s coast three months ago, according to the federal procurement database.

Council president seeks oversight for economic development loans

City Council President Arnie Fielkow plans to introduce an ordinance this week that would require council approval for all loans from the Urban Development Action Grant fund, increasing public oversight of a development subsidy most recently awarded to Zulu organization and the Inspire entertainment complex in the Seventh Ward. The UDAG program is a loan fund created in the 1970s by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department with a goal of spurring investment in poor and blighted areas.