Public Works Committee Meeting to Address Broken Catch Basin Backlog

Upcoming Public Works Committee Meeting to Address Broken Catch Basin Backlog
Councilmember-At-Large Stacy Head
NEW ORLEANS – On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, the New Orleans City Council Public Works Committee will meet. The agenda will include a discussion of the years-long backlog of broken and missing catch basins in the City of New Orleans.
Councilmember-at-Large Stacy Head has made the repair and replacement of broken or missing catch basins one of her highest priorities. In the 2017 budget, the Mayor Mitch Landrieu listed a $3 Million one-time expenditure to “eliminate the drainage point repair backlog.” As of May 17, 2017, the Department of Public Works had not yet completed those repairs.
“It is a fundamental obligation of the City to provide its citizens with basic services such as a functioning drainage system. Our government must provide these basics before anything else is funded,” said Councilmember Head. “I took the administration’s word that this would be resolved by this summer but to date, none of the catch basins in the back log have been repaired and the list keeps growing. At the committee meeting, I will be demanding answers, not excuses, about whether that money was actually spent and how the administration plans to address this growing problem.” She added, “Our citizens need no more promises about what will be done in the future. We need the administration to start repairing and replacing the catch basins.”
In June of 2016, the Department of Public Works reported that there were approximately 3,600 open 311 requests for street flooding or other drainage issues. At that time, there were an estimated 200 drainage point repairs and 750 catch basin repair or replacements outstanding.
Councilmember Head has requested that a representative from the Landrieu administration attend the July 26 meeting and be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What was the amount and source of dollars budgeted in 2017 for catch basin replacements and repairs, clean-outs, and drainage point repairs?
  • How has the Department of Public Works used the budgeted money?
  • How many catch basins have been cleaned and repaired or replaced and how many drainage point repairs have been completed since January 1, 2017?
  • What are the remaining number of catch basin replacements, repairs, or clean-outs and drainage point repairs documented (through 311 and DPW)?
  • What is the estimated cost and timeline to reduce that number to zero?
  • Prioritizing funding for fundamental services such as basic infrastructure has been a priority of Head’s throughout her term on the New Orleans City Council. In May of 2017, she announced #Back2BasicsNOLA, a social media campaign designed to collect and share examples of broken catch basins, lingering blight, and unsafe parks. She is calling on citizens to attend the meeting and demand that basic City services be funded before anything else in the City budget.
Katie Baudouin
Councilmember-at-Large Stacy Head
New Orleans City Council 
The New Orleans City Council is the legislative branch of New Orleans city government. The Council considers and enacts all local laws that govern the City of New Orleans. The Council also approves the operating and capital budgets for the City, as recommended by the mayor, and continually monitors revenues and expenditures for local government operations. The City Council is also the regulatory body for public utilities. It also reviews and has final say on many land use and zoning matters, as well as considers major economic development projects for the City. As a Board of Review for Orleans Parish, the Council examines appeals of property tax assessments for real estate taxes, and certifies tax rolls to the Louisiana Tax Commission. Other responsibilities of the Council include overseeing the operation of the public access television in Orleans Parish. Streaming video and video archives of the City Council’s Regular and Committee meetings can be found on the City Council website.

The City Council is comprised of five districts and two councilmembers-at-large. Council President and Councilmember-at-Large Stacy Head; Council Vice President and Councilmember-at-Large Jason R. Williams; District “A” Councilmember Susan G. Guidry; District “B” Councilmember LaToya Cantrell; District “C” Councilmember Nadine M. Ramsey; District “D” Councilmember Jared C. Brossett; and District “E” Councilmember James Austin Gray II.


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