NEW ORLEANS-- Mayor LaToya Cantrell raised a few eyebrows recently for asking our tourism industry to help pitch in to pay for the infrastructure needs of our city.
Her effort is called 'Fair Share' and she says that in addition to those agencies, her administration is also looking inside city government for help.
Cantrell said, "All I'm asking for is that we collectively put everything on the table to provide solutions to move this city forward, which is all around infrastructure. We've kicked that can down the road and it can't go any further."
The mayor is asking for $75 million upfront to help prop up Sewerage and Water Board. We asked Cantrell to address how some may doubt that the money would be well spent with the city.
"I can understand the people's lack of trust in government for many different reasons and particularly as it relates to the Sewerage and Water Board. That has been. It hasn't been maintained. Infrastructure hasn't been maintained in our city for decades, and the dollars that are generated are real to go for infrastructure, but I cannot speak to the past. I have to speak to where we are now and the future of the utility but the future of the City of New Orleans," said Cantrell.
The mayor has enlisted the governor's help with this effort and to render a decision in a pretty short time span, "I asked him to to create a task force to look at the revenue generation or re-dedication options so that we could collectively come up with a decision, and not one that's 6 months from now, but I asked for this task force to render a decision within a 30-day period."
In short Cantrell says that the time for action is now, "The city of New Orleans needs her fair share so that we can reinvest those dollars into the needs of this city. Infrastructure is a top need. We need to grow, we need to activate and create more jobs, but that doesn't happen if we do not have the infrastructure. It's not just common sense; it's good business sense."