Bloomberg Lists New Orleans Among the ‘Top 12 American Boomtowns’

The Bloomberg news service has listed New Orleans among its “Top 12 American Boomtowns,” citing the city’s population recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

“The area is growing as it rebuilds from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” the article says. “Tourism is booming, and the New Orleans area gained more residents than any other in the U.S. from 2007 to 2011. The population rose to 1.2 million in 2012.”

The article refers to and counters the recent controversial comments by Fox News television pundit Geraldo Rivera, conversing with Fox commentator Bill O’Reilly, calling most of New Orleans “a vast urban wasteland.”

“There’s plenty of job growth in heavy construction and even the television and motion picture industry, according to New Orleans demographer Allison Plyer,” the report says. “The unemployment rate, at 5.9 percent, is below the national average.”

It also mentions recent uncertainty over the fate of the state’s tax credit for film productions, although Gov. Bobby Jindal has since dropped his tax swap plan that proposed a less generous credit.

The other cities on the list are Austin, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; San Antonio; Houston; Washington, D.C.; Oklahoma City; Nashville, Tenn.; Portland, Ore.; Charlotte, N.C., Dallas; and San Jose, Calif.

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Army Corps of Engineers Awards Contract for Plaquemines Parish Levee

The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $41.6 million levee enlargement contract for the west bank of Plaquemines Parish that will raise a section from Oakville to La Reussite to create protection from a so-called 50-year storm. It will be built to protect against storm surge created by a hurricane with a 2-percent chance of occurring each year.

The proposed new flood maps – expected to be approved by the parish this year or early next – only count so-called 100-year levees in their flood models. So, anything below that 100-year protection (a 1-percent chance of occurring each year) counts as no protection at all in terms of those flood maps and the subsequently skyrocketing insurance rates.

That’s because the federal government is basing its calculation for the new maps on a 100-year storm event that would overtop  smaller levees.

In its announcement of the contract award to Nevada-based Target Construction on Monday afternoon, the corps stated that the Plaquemines 12655128-largeproject will be the fourth of 17 New Orleans to Venice non-federal levee projects.

The 30-month contract with Target Construction includes raising 8.2 miles of earthen levee between Oakville and La Reussite to an elevation between 7.5 and 9 feet, according to the corps.

The upgraded levees will tie into the Ollie Pump Station Fronting Protection project, which currently is under construction. Once completed, both features will provide a continuous line of risk reduction from storm surge from Barataria Bay to the Jesuit Bend community, according to the corps.

Construction is expected to be complete in late 2015.

The New Orleans to Venice project includes about 37 miles of back levee modifications, fronting protection and two sector gates on the west bank. It also includes floodwall fronting protection at two locations on the east bank. The non-federal levee project only is located on the west bank and ends in Oakville. In total, that non-federal west bank project includes about 20 miles of back levee replacements or modifications and a tie-in to the Mississippi River levees.


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Sheriff Requests Deferral of Action on Traffic Cameras for Plaquemines Parish

Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Lonnie Greco has asked the Parish Council to defer action on his proposal to install photo traffic cameras. Greco said Thursday that he wants to discuss the issue during a series of town hall meetings with the public in May.

12631084-smallThe sheriff said in a news release he wants to address misinformation about the cameras “in an effort to increase public awareness.” The cameras are portable and can be placed relocated to address problem areas, Greco said Thursday.

Greco said he sought the program with Redflex to decrease speeding and to supplement his patrol staff, which is stretched thin for a wide area. The parish and sheriff’s department would not incur any cost, Greco said.

The Parish Council introduced the ordinance at its April 11 meeting and could have taken action on Thursday.

The sheriff’s town hall meetings begin May 13 at 7 p.m. at Buras Auditorium.
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Louisiana Home Builders Association Quarterly Board Meetings


LHBA Board Meeting

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Wednesday – Friday
May 8, 2013 – May 10, 2013

Board Meetings Will Be Held All Day.

Click Here For More Information or Call 225-387-2714.

Rally for Homeownership and 21st Annual Crawfish Boil


Louisiana Home Builders Association
LHBA Self Insurers Fund

Rally for Homeownership
21st Annual Crawfish Boil

Louisiana State Capitol
Baton Rouge, LA

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
1PM – 9PM

Click Here For More Information.