City records show HANO owes thousands in sanitation fees - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

City records show HANO owes thousands in past due sanitation fees

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New Orleans, La. -

The Housing Authority of New Orleans owes thousands of dollars to the city in past due sanitation fees. That's according to city records.  But as FOX 8 has learned, there are many questions surrounding the accuracy of the city's sanitation records.

On Monday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced he's cracking down on people who don't pay their sanitation fees.

"By amending current law we want the Sewerage and Water Board to be able to turn off water when the sanitation fee becomes delinquent after notice," Landrieu said.

But at the same time Landrieu was making his announcement, Sewerage and Water Board records showed that a public agency, the Housing Authority of New Orleans, owes about $11,000.

$1500 is due on a property located in the 4200 block of Tchoupitoulas Street. But according to a spokesperson for HANO, the agency picks up their own trash from the building, meaning they shouldn't be charged a sanitation fee. The spokesperson says HANO picks up trash at 20 of its locations, while the city picks up at 46.

Another property listed in the Sewerage and Water Board records as allegedly owing sanitation fees is the HANO office itself, located in Gentilly. According to the records, the building owes over $100, but HANO says it picks up its own trash from that building, too. 

The records also show that the Orleans Levee District owes $3,000. But Executive Director Louis Capo says the levee district uses a private company for sanitation needs. They've requested that the charges be reversed.

Another possible mistake in the records: The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office is listed as owing almost $5,000. A spokesperson for the sheriff's office says they too pick up their own trash so again, they shouldn't be charged for garbage collection.

The Landrieu administration says the city is owed almost $9 million in past due fees. But if these organizations are correct about not owing the fees, what about the inaccuracies in the public record?

When FOX 8 asked the city if the documents pertaining to HANO are correct, they released this statement: "We are working with HANO and the Sewerage and Water Board to identify any sanitation fees that are owed to the city."

A spokesperson for HANO says, before the agency makes any payments, they're verifying all of the charges to assure that HANO doesn't pay for amounts it doesn't owe.

We also reached out to officials at the Sewerage and Water Board, who declined comment on our story, saying only that they get all of the information on sanitation fees from the city.

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