Mayor Cantrell, Gov. Edwards reach deal to help fund infrastructure needs

Mayor Cantrell, Gov. Edwards reach deal to help fund infrastructure needs
A 114 year old busted pipe that led to a water main break in Uptown is just one of the issues facing the S&WB. (Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Monday that a deal has been reached between state, city and tourism officials to address draining infrastructure needs.

The deal gives $50 million in funding payable this year for the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans to help with ongoing drainage needs. It also provides an additional $17.5 million that will be used to provide cash flow over the next five years, according to the agreement.

An initial deal was reached on May 1, however they were delayed once amendments were made.

“Our agreement with the City of New Orleans and tourism officials provides upfront funding of $67.5 million for the city’s critical infrastructure needs, alongside a package of legislation that would provide future recurring revenue for the city,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The people of New Orleans deserve reliable drainage and by working together in partnership, we will be able to make investments to improve its infrastructure. I appreciate the many officials, executives and legislators who devoted time to getting the best deal for a community with a rich and vibrant culture that is on display every day for the world to see.”

“We have a deal – and we are being true to our word: the people of New Orleans are getting more of their fair share, with critical revenue being directed towards our infrastructure at a time when the need is dire,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “I’m proud to say we found a way to get to a ‘win-win’ that secures vital funds and unprecedented recurring revenue, without ever losing sight of the City’s best interests in the long run. It wasn’t an easy road to get here, but it was far more important that we get this deal done right – than that it get done in a hurry.”

The $50 million in upfront money includes:

  • $22 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding from previous disasters and funding from a revolver loan fund in the Division of Administration from Hurricane Katrina;
  • $28 million for the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, $20 million of which is new money and $8 million is repurposed funding.

Copyright 2019 WVUE. All rights reserved.