NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Mayor Mitch Landrieu is trying to figure out where to spend his $500-Million general fund budget. Tonight neighbors in Lakeview made their voices heard. WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano says much of the talk focused on potholes and repairs.
Take a drive around Lakeview and the streets may leave you feeling like you’re on a boat in the middle of choppy waters. Large potholes, some more like craters, threaten drivers and judging by the signs sprinkled throughout, residents here are just about fed up.
“It’s like a golf course!”
“When is the rest of Fleur De Lis going to be finished?”
“I don’t know if we put a price tag on the cars, the fire trucks, tires, front end alignments, the cars and the insurance that we all pay just because of the streets.”
“If one district wants to do it and the other doesn’t, that’s fine. Let us pay for our streets and if they don’t want to pay for theirs, then that’s their issue that they want to deal with.”
Mayor Mitch Landrieu says he has a $500-Million budget and he’d need $700-Million to do what everyone wants, not including fixing streets. He says fixing one mile of roughed up roads costs $7-Million. Add all of our busted streets up and the total comes to a whopping $9-Billion.
Landrieu says the city’s focus has been on fixing main roads, but he says that may soon change as negotiations continue with FEMA for more money to fix the pipes underground.
“And part of the discussion is that if they do that they have to give us road money too. So we think that we are very close. I’m not going to announce it until it’s done, to getting a fairly substantial amount of money that will help us start the repairs on interior streets,” explains Mayor Landrieu.
The Mayor says they should know the answer to those negotiations with FEMA by the end of the year.
More relief for residents concerned over roads came Wednesday morning. The Mayor says a historic decision was made giving Cedric Grant, the Director of the Sewerage & Water Board the power to oversee capital improvement projects and the Department of Public Works, which means they could streamline repairs.