Skip to comments.Millions spent on upkeep of empty Katrina lots
Posted on 07/16/2012 1:12:46 PM PDT by Hunton Peck
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- More than 3,000 lots flooded by Hurricane Katrina and bought with federal money in an emergency bailout sit idle across this city - a multimillion-dollar drain on federal, state and city coffers that lends itself to no easy solution.
An Associated Press examination of the properties sold to the government by homeowners abandoning New Orleans after the catastrophic 2005 flood has found that about $86 million has been spent on 5,100 abandoned parcels.
"Right now nobody on those 3,000-plus properties is contributing. It's costing the city and state government to maintain them. Police got to go out there, run kids out of there, drug-users," said Errol Williams, the tax assessor in New Orleans. "That's a cost to the city. If they sell one, it comes back on the tax rolls, I'm happy."
Until now, the properties have been managed by the Louisiana Land Trust, an agency set up using federal funds.
Donald Vallee, a longtime New Orleans developer, complained that city officials had not acted fast enough. "How many years does it take them to do something?" said Vallee, who also sits on the Louisiana Land Trust board. He advocated selling the lots at auction. Sitting on the properties, he said, was a "pure waste of money."
On South Galvez Street in Broadmoor, an abandoned house was the only sign of Katrina left on the block.
Jim Provensal, a musician living next door, said he wanted to buy it, but the city agency in charge of selling or developing the properties, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, wanted $130,000.
"That's too much money!" Provensal said. "They don't care. They know if they sell the property they won't have a job."
And so, the boarded-up house sits, paint peeling.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
I disagree. All that money maintaining them has to be spread around to politically connected lawn mowing services, etc.
Clear them off, flood them and plant rice.
Use the whole area as a dumping ground for fly ash, mine tailings, dredging, construction debris, etc.
Build it up to 30 ft over sea level.
Lay down a utility grid.
Cover with soil.
Rebuild New Orleans as Tel New Orleans, the South’s new Shining City on a Hill.
Fund the whole project with disposal fees.
Or just nuke it from orbit.
Newark NJ has had a lot of properties like this (since the riots 45 years ago). The city ends up with the title, and spends nothing on the upkeep (there is none).
Why do I smell another corruption scam?
How much should it cost for maintenance of empty lots?
If the lots aren't empty, they can sure be made empty at a one time expense.
What am I missing here?