In The News › Fix My Streets committee hears litany of complaints from citizens

Fix My Streets committee hears litany of complaints from citizens

By Bill Capo


January 19, 2016

NEW ORLEANS — At the second meeting of the Fix My Streets Financing working group, people from across the city came to voice their concerns.
New Orleans East residents begged for help.

“The street is ridiculous,” said Earl Pierre.

Residents said they were tired of empty promises about when potholes in the area would be fixed.

“I’m looking for that to get done soon,” Pierre added. “I’m getting up in age.”

Supreme Court employees complained about potholes on Conti Street in the French Quarter.

“It settles down, and settles down, and it seems to create another water leak,” noted Tom Anderson.

Residents from Gentilly had the same issues.

“Even the Mayor came a couple of years ago, and said ‘oh you can’t get in your driveway.’ I still can’t,” said Francine Rounds, frustrated with the city’s response.

The committee said it knows changes need to be made.

“We found out that there was about a billion dollars of local tax revenue,” said the Bureau of Governmental Research’s Celeste Coco-Ewing. “Of that, about three percent of that local tax revenue goes to roads.”

City leaders say they plan to spend $200 million this year, using FEMA funds to repair up to 100 miles of road instead of the usual 10.

“So we’re going to try to get after those fairly serious complaints that we can address right now as we look at the longer term program,” said Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant.

The committee is faced with the task of finding an estimated $9 billion to take care of 1,500 miles of broken streets in New Orleans.

“If you spread this out over twenty years, and you look at the financial situation the city is in and the bond situation in the future, and the opportunity for some other funding sources, yeah, I do think this is a doable project,” said Fix My Streets founder Robert Lupo.

However, the members know the solution won’t happened overnight.

“We’re going to be meeting probably for years,” said Working Group Chair Dr. Norma Jean Mattei. “I don’t think my group knows that.” Members spent their second meeting listening to city leaders explain the complexities of road construction, and financing for major projects.