The Council passed Ordinance Calendar No. 27,938, introduced by Councilmember Head, to authorize the closure of streets to be utilized as part of the site used in the construction of the Veterans Administration Medical Center and establishing reporting requirements for the City to report to the Council on the use of funds on the VA hospital project.
Brenda Breaux, Chief Deputy City Attorney; Julie Catellier, VA Medical Center Director; and other representatives of the VA hospital project appeared before the Council to present information on drainage plans and analysis and traffic impact study findings.
The street closures will apply to areas of Cleveland Avenue, Palmyra Street, Banks Street, South Miro Street and South Tonti Street, all generally bounded by Canal Street on the northeast side, South Galvez Street on the southeast side, Tulane Avenue on the southwest side and South Rocheblave Street on the northwest side.
District "B" Councilmember Stacy Head said, "It is in the interest of the New Orleans community that we move forward on this new medical center, representing progressive economic development in the City which will create jobs and increase the accessibility of healthcare for our citizens. We also need to assure equitable treatment of those displaced and use environmentally sensitive actions during this time of relocations and demolitions by the City."
After more than an hour of public comment from residents and members of the business community, and in order to address the concerns expressed by many residents, the Council passed Motion M-10-193, which was introduced by Councilmember Midura.The Motion mandates that the City receive monthly reports from the State relative to the status of demolition, acquisition and relocation activities in relation to the VA hospital project, and that during the presentation of these reports, there be opportunity for public comment.
District "A" Councilmember Shelley Midura said, "We recognize the importance of this project moving forward, but we want to ensure that all citizens are treated fairly throughout the entire process, including demolition, acquisition and relocation activities. This Motion will provide for that, as well as give residents the opportunity for public comment on these issues."
It's good to see that residents will have opportunities for public comment as their homes are being demolished.
More from the Times-Pic as well.
None of the sources tell precisely when the streets will be closed (or if they are now closed) and precisely what that means. There are still people living inside the VA footprint, so I'm concerned about how this plays out on the ground.