Monday, June 22, 2009

Don't Miss

Dennis Woltering's interviews with Lower Mid-City homeowners from last Friday or Lower Mid-City businessman Mickey Weiser's op-ed in the Times-Picayune from yesterday.

My favorite line from the Woltering interviews belongs to Gail Ruth:

"I think people are getting screwed."

My favorite part of Weiser's op-ed:

HB 780 breezed through the House, 94-2. It crashed and burned in the Senate Education Committee, where it was "deferred" by a vote of 6-1.

You have to ask -- why are LSU and the State Office of Facility Planning so afraid of this bill? This bill should be embraced by LSU and any reasonable and thoughtful legislator. Wouldn't having a valid, up-to-date financing plan help speed the process? Who builds property or opens a business without clear and present funding? That's Business 101.

I should know; I took the course at LSU.

I further highlighted both today at


Anonymous said...

"...The city and its partners have the financial means to expeditiously
acquire the necessary land, which will be done with the support of a
cooperative endeavor agreement (CEA) with the State of Louisiana. This
CEA engages the state to use quick-take authority for public benefit for
all of the land required for the VA site, something it is in the process
of doing for the adjacent LSU location. Site acquisition can be
accomplished within the VA’s 18-month design timeframe for the hospital,
so that construction can begin immediately upon completion of the
design. The city can provide the necessary infrastructure for the site,
including water, sewer and electricity, and has conducted preliminary
site assessments which indicate environmental concerns will not be a
problem..." -- C. Ray Nagin (July 2007 testimony before the Field Hearing on the Future of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care in South Louisiana)

"...State officials have already initiated land acquisition for the targeted
downtown site using state general funds and have assured me that the site will be ready for construction before the end of that design process. I am confident that there is no unique delay in the timeline for opening the VA hospital downtown..."
--Kim Boyle, Chair, Louisiana Recovery Authority
(August 2007 testimony before the U.S. House Of Representatives Committee On Energy And Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight And Investigations)

"We think it's important for you to understand that the City of New Orleans is pledging its resources to purchase only one site, the site that we propose originally, that is the site that we think makes the most difference for the people now and in the future." --Ed Blakely (August 2008, at public VA site selection meeting)

Anonymous said...

It is quite obvious site selection and land acquisition was happening long before homeowners and business people opened the morning paper and read their land would be expropriated and they would have no voice in the matter.

Who actually determined the conjoined LSU/VA footprint? Was it the Regional Planning Commission? If not, then why was that location option so consistently called the RPC site?

Which firms have been awarded consulting or service contracts for the various aspects of the LSU/VA project?