New Orleans, LA – December 1, 2011 – Today, the New Orleans City Council adopted the 2012 Capital and Operating Budgets for the City of New Orleans. In other business, the Council by resolution requested that the federal government continue investment in streetcar service in New Orleans. The Council also heard a presentation from the Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art about NOMA’s upcoming centennial celebration. And, the Council commended the heroic life-saving efforts of a New Orleans firefighter and recognized the Urban Search and Rescue Squad for its response in the aftermath of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama tornadoes.
Adopted the City’s 2012 Operating and Capital Budgets
The New Orleans City Council adopted the 2012 Capital and Operating Budgets for the City of New Orleans. The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 28,717, providing a Capital Budget for 2012; Ordinance Calendar No. 28,718, providing an Operating Budget of Revenues for 2012; and, Ordinance Calendar No. 28,719, providing an Operating Budget of Expenditures for 2012. The Council received the Mayor’s proposed budget October 17th and conducted a series of month-long budget hearings receiving presentations from City Departments, the Mayor’s Office, and the Courts, the District Attorney, the Sheriff, outside agencies, boards and commissions.
The Council revised the original proposed budget with passage of a series of budget amendments that restored and shifted allocations for the District Attorney, the Juvenile Courts, the Criminal Sheriff, the Office of the Public Defender, the City Planning Commission (CPC) and the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), among others.
Council President Clarkson said, “As is the Council’s legislative responsibility, the City budget is balanced. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to chair a budget process that resulted in a structurally sound budget with a consensus among our council members and the administration to meet the priorities of our constituents. The Council is committed to advancing its vision for the City in 2012 and supporting the programs, initiatives and projects funded in this document that will have lasting benefits for the future of New Orleans.”
Supported RTA Federal Grant to Continue Investment in the City’s Streetcar Lines
The Council passed Resolution R-11-568 by Councilmembers Gisleson Palmer and Head to support the City of New Orleans and Regional Transit Authority’s submission of an application for Phase III of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER III) funding for the Ninth Ward Streetcar Extension and Howard Avenue Connection Project. The resolution asks the federal government to continue investment in streetcar service in New Orleans. Streetcar service provides green and sustainable transportation alternatives and dramatically impacts the economies of the neighborhoods that are served.
District “C” Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, “The revitalization of the St. Claude commercial corridor with a new streetcar line from Elysian Fields to Poland Avenue funded with federal transportation investment generating funding embodies the purpose of this federal grant. The extension of streetcar service down St. Claude Avenue is a vital linchpin to the comeback of important and historic New Orleans neighborhoods.”
District “E” Councilmember Johnson said, “Extension of the streetcar line into the Ninth Ward through this grant opportunity will result in increased ridership and an improved quality of life for citizens. The community will be well-served and a public service that had been utilized and enjoyed by this community for many decades would be restored.”
Commemorated Centennial Year of the New Orleans Museum of Art
Councilmember Guidry with NOMA Director Susan Taylor
At the request of Councilmember Guidry, the Council received a presentation from Susan Taylor, Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) regarding the museum’s centennial year. Since 1911, NOMA’s mission has been to inspire the love of art, collect and preserve visual art and to educate and engage the public. Taylor discussed NOMA 100, a celebratory exhibition that consists of 110 objects acquired over the past five years. The exhibition tells the story of the museum’s transformation over the past 100 years. To celebrate NOMA’s centennial, the museum will be open for 31 consecutive hours from Friday, December 16th at 10 a.m. to Saturday, December 17th at 5 p.m. The festivities will include art making, a variety of musical performances, yoga and a jazz brunch. Visit www.noma.org for a full list of activities and times.
District “A” Councilmember Guidry said, “The New Orleans Museum of Art is the City’s cornerstone of art and culture. For a century, NOMA has been a driving force in promoting, educating and encouraging an appreciation for the arts in New Orleans. We are grateful for all that NOMA has contributed to the artistic life of our community and look forward to a future that continues the traditions and accomplishments of a truly grand museum.”
Recognized Heroic Life-Saving Efforts of a New Orleans Firefighter and Praised the Urban Search and Rescue Squad Disaster Response
Council President Clarkson and Chief Darryl Klumpp
At the request of Council President Clarkson, the Council heard a presentation from New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Charles Parent and Deputy Superintendent Tim McConnell, acknowledging the heroic efforts of 8th District Fire Chief Darryl Klumpp. On Thursday July 28th, Chief Klumpp noticed smoke coming from the home of his neighbor and alerted the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD). District Chief Klumpp bravely entered the burning home and rescued an elderly wheel-chair bound resident. Fernando Echeagaray was found in a bedroom and carried from the burning house. Firefighters arrived on the scene and Chief Klumpp directed firefighters on the ground. The fire was contained, ensuring that nearby homes were not destroyed.
NOFD Superintendent Parent and Deputy Superintendent McConnell also presented along with Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, Director of New Orleans Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, Council President Clarkson and Superintendent Charles Parent with a gift from the
City of Tuscaloosa thanking USAR personnel for their aid in the immediate aftermath of the spring tornadoes Emergency Medical Services and Fire Department Medical Director Dr. Jeffrey Elder, and St. Bernard Parish Fire Department Chief Thomas Stone, concerning the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force response to the spring tornadoes in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. On May 2, 2011, in the immediate aftermath of the destructive tornadoes, USAR personnel were deployed to Tuscaloosa. Their main task was to conduct searches in a densely populated area of Tuscaloosa. Technical expertise was needed to ensure that people were not trapped beneath rubble and to provide medical care. Information was provided to family members anxiously awaiting news regarding their missing loved ones. USAR personnel were able to search and clear an area which allowed for heavy moving equipment to move in and continue clearing debris.
Council President Clarkson said, “I am continually amazed by the bravery of our New Orleans firefighters and of the willingness of firefighters and disaster rescue teams in our City and the surrounding area to risk their lives for the benefit of others. These are the true heroes. Again and again, they go above and beyond what is required and exhibit selfless acts to protect the lives of citizens. We are so grateful to you for all that you do.”