LOOKING AHEAD – Stories to Watch: Monday, April 10 — Sunday, April 16
Follow the bouncing block grants • The Louisiana Recovery Authority’s plan for divvying up $6.2 billion in federal Community Development Block Grants has been moving through the Legislature, and if lawmakers manage to sign off this week, its next step will be the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD must approve the spending plan before the tap can open to the state.
The plan shows how Louisiana intends to allocate the money to housing, infrastructure and economic development projects. Officials are hoping for quick approvals of the plan so that dollars can begin flowing into New Orleans soon.
Endorsement blitz likely
Look for more political organizations, media and advocacy groups to put their official stamps of approval on candidates for mayor and City Council this week. Behind-the-scenes action will heat up as some candidates elect to bow out and throw their support to others.
Speak up, speak out
The Louisiana Recovery Authority want input on the organization’s housing plan, called “The Road Home.” The LRA will hold a community meeting in New Orleans on Wednesday to hear local comments and suggestions. The public is encouraged to attend from 3 to 9 p.m. at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, 2800 Chartres St. The plan is available online at http://www.louisianarebuilds.info . It aims to compensate owners of damaged homes by providing up to $150,000, minus insurance payments and FEMA assistance, to repair, rebuild, take a buyout or relocate, or sell homes.
Success in tech
The Louisiana Technology Council this week will hail enterprises that survived the wrath of Katrina and have gone on to thrive. On April 11, the council will showcase Carrollton Technology Partners, GCR & Associates, Xavier University and Entergy Transmission, in presentations from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at 1215 Prytania St. More information is available at www.LTC-LA.org .
Advocates of federal spending on restoration of flood-damaged historic properties will likely be wear their lobbying hats this week as they seek to retain money that’s been tentatively set aside. The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $83 million for such properties along the Gulf Coast, but the measure has a few more hurdles to surmount. If it survives both the House and Senate, the Louisiana money will flow in the form of grants through the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. The state could get more than $37 for work on a range of historic structures, including many in New Orleans.