Monday, November 8, 2010

Show Me the Money: Crews Move Into LSU Footprint Homes

The contractor crews, LSU, the State of Louisiana, and whomever else reads this blog probably know what I'm going to say since crews began dismantling two homes on Palmyra in the LSU Footprint today.

Before you destroy historic buildings, show me the money.

Specifically, prove that you have actual, adequate financing lined up to build the proposed University Medical Center (UMC).  I'm not talking about the money to acquire lots, expropriate lots, or do salvage or demolition.  I'm talking about the full amount of financing required to carry out the end goal that's necessitating all those things.

From everything I know, and despite any attempts by state officials or the UMC Corporation Board to put a nice veneer on preliminary outreach to HUD for backing, the money is not in place.  There's still a shortfall of several hundred million dollars to address.

There is also no house moving plan in place on the LSU Footprint side, despite the successful example on the VA Footprint side.

Together, the lack of funding and the lack of a house moving alternative make any steps forward in dismantling houses on the LSU Footprint site inexcusable and irresponsible.

Until today, the recent resurgence of activity in the LSU Footprint was confined to clearing vacant lots.  But today that changed.  Now it's structures that contribute to a National Register Historic District.  And it's unfortunate.

I don't have a personal fortune to shove into the breach.  I'm not in a high level policy-making decision.  But I can see that this is wrong.  And I'm not going to stop pointing that out.

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