Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hey Brother Can You $pare a Million

New Orleans is requesting that the state pitch in several million dollars for repaving many of the city's roads that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

In addition to the $1.1 billion in federal and local money that New Orleans officials hope to pump into their new recovery plan, City Hall will ask the state Legislature to earmark $47 million for capital projects in seven of the 17 target zones identified last week as hot spots for government spending.

The largest chunk of money -- $19.2 million -- would go to rehabbing streets, sidewalks and lighting around tourist hubs such as the French Quarter and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, according to a priority list provided by the city.

The wish list also includes money for civic assets key to reviving two of the zones: Joe Brown Park in eastern New Orleans and the Gernon Brown Community Center in Lakeview. A complete overhaul of Harrison Avenue in Lakeview also is on the docket, along with the repaving of four major roads that criss-cross the target zones and, according to city officials, serve as key evacuation arteries.

But the push for state dollars won't stop there.

City officials say they will request $52.3 million to repave 11 additional roads that could be critical in moving residents out during an evacuation.

The city also will support a $100 million request by an Algiers development agency for a new headquarters at the "federal city" complex, a pre-Katrina project that would consolidate military and government offices at the Naval Support Activity along the Mississippi River.

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