Long-neglected Yacht Club Harbor may finally get FEMA money - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Long-neglected Yacht Club Harbor may finally get FEMA money

Yacht Club (Source: Google) Yacht Club (Source: Google)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

 Katrina scars at the New Orleans Municipal Yacht Harbor may finally get some attention. City leaders said Tuesday that a deal with FEMA is close.

"I bought the boat about four years ago. The previous owner died waiting for this place to be repaired," said Nick Hajdu. 

He captains a boat called the Witchdoctor, and would like to cast his own spell to make the marina better.

"Basically there's no power and no water at any of the slips out here," he said. "They were collecting over 500 rents before, now it's 180 or less and there's no sign for improvement - there's just squabbling between the city and FEMA."

For 11 years, the passed-over piece of Katrina recovery on Roadway Drive has been limping. Only 140 out of the 600 slips are usable since the storm. A total redesign could still be years away, but city leaders say it's closer than ever.

"The marketing study is finished on the Yacht Harbor, and it basically allows us to talk to FEMA about what the market would bear on the Yacht Harbor, so that's significant," said Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant.

He said the study showed 500 slips here would be warranted, and the demand is high. Grant said the city is in reach of a possible $20 million payout from FEMA.

"They're lying," said boater Carl Hudson. "I don't have any factual basis for that, but that's the same story going on 11 years now. This is a cash cow for the City of New Orleans. They'd rather double parking fees in town, but with a little simple work you could be earning the money."

Grant said the city is ready for a design specialist that will come in the next few weeks to provide ideas for the harbor the project can move forward. He said  the redesign could be more than two years away as the city looks for engineering firms qualified to do the job.

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