Lawmaker says RPC should turn CCC lights on with surplus funds - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

State lawmaker says RPC should turn CCC lights on with surplus funds

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New Orleans, La. — A state lawmaker who was instrumental in locating a contract the state signed decades ago regarding decorative lights on the Crescent City Connection wants the lights turned back on soon.

Last week the state turned off the necklace-style lights because it said, with the suspension of tolls on the bridge, there was no money to fund the continued operation of the lighting system.

In the 1980's, the Young Leadership Council raised $500,000 for the installation of the lights and said it signed a contract with the state Department of Transportation and Development that ensured that the state would continue to operate the lights.

But this week an official with DOTD said it could not find a signed contract.

Thursday afternoon, Representative Jeff Arnold, D-New Orleans, located the signed contract with the help of the attorney who was involved in the process years ago.

Even though the state maintains it is not responsible for funding the light,s Arnold wants the Regional Planning Commission, which now has oversight of the bridge's finances, to use surplus funds from the toll revenue to turn the lights back on, instead of accepting a new donation from the YLC.

"Hopefully on Tuesday they'll do the right thing, turn the switch back on, not take any money from YLC, there's no reason why they should be putting any money up. The Regional Planning Commission should use the existing toll dollars, revenue, turn them back on, let us in the legislature… find a permanent solution," Arnold said.

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