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Millions spent on upkeep of empty Katrina lots
Associated Press ^ | Jul 16, 2012, 3:37 PM EDT | CAIN BURDEAU

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 ...


TOPICS: Government; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: hurricanekatrina; katrina; neworleans
Lots of the usual airheads have lots of the usual airy ideas about government "solutions" to this government-created fiasco, while people who want to pay their own money and do something real with the property are ignored.
1 posted on 07/16/2012 1:12:58 PM PDT by Hunton Peck
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To: Hunton Peck
Sitting on the properties, he said, was a "pure waste of money."

I disagree. All that money maintaining them has to be spread around to politically connected lawn mowing services, etc.

2 posted on 07/16/2012 1:15:24 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is, it is the only answer.)
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To: Hunton Peck

Clear them off, flood them and plant rice.


3 posted on 07/16/2012 1:26:35 PM PDT by Iron Munro ("Jiggle the Handle for Barry!")
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To: Iron Munro

I disagree.

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.


4 posted on 07/16/2012 1:50:28 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1272 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: null and void

Or just nuke it from orbit.


5 posted on 07/16/2012 1:58:27 PM PDT by Iron Munro ("Jiggle the Handle for Barry!")
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To: Hunton Peck

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).


6 posted on 07/16/2012 5:14:03 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: Hunton Peck
It's costing the city and state government to maintain them.

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?

7 posted on 07/16/2012 8:37:09 PM PDT by publius911 (Formerly Publius 6961, formerly jennsdad)
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