Thursday, November 09, 2006

But An Inspector General Might Cost Too Much

Damn old computer where I'm house/dog sitting just went off, erasing a longer post. But contrast something from a September Times Picayune article:
In other actions, also by unanimous votes, the council:

-- Asked Mayor Ray Nagin's administration to work with the council to develop a "comprehensive and articulated policy" on the use of tax increment financing districts, or TIFs, under which specified tax revenue is diverted to specific development projects. Council members such as Fielkow and Stacy Head have said they are not opposed to TIFs in principle but think the city needs a clearly defined policy on them.

Developers hoping to convert the vacant Plaza Tower office building to luxury condos recently asked the council to approve a TIF to help finance the project. But they had to drop the idea after so many government agencies insisted the taxes due to them should be excluded from the plan that it no longer would have yielded a significant amount of money.

-- Approved a salary of $100,030 for a new city position, the Base Realignment and Closure director, who will be in charge of city efforts to promote the federal city complex expected to bring thousands of new jobs to Algiers starting in 2008. The director's assistant will be paid $42,450.

With something in today's paper:
In what officials say is "a major support contract" that lifts the federal city project off the drawing board, a Virginia-based firm has been selected to negotiate land leases with the Navy at the Naval Support Activity in Algiers, and later to help select a master developer.

The contract was not finalized and no money has changed hands, Arnold said. The Algiers Development District board, of which Tucker and Arnold are members, will pay for the BearingPoint contract, Tucker said.

However, the commission set a Sept. 30, 2008, deadline for the city and state to get funding in place and start construction, or else the base will close. Officials believe the deadline will be met.

The New Orleans Federal Alliance, a nonprofit corporation created two years ago to steer federal city to fruition, said in a press release that the master developer should be selected by next summer, and buildings in the first phase should be ready for occupation in 2009.

The Algiers Development District (pdf) is TIF funded, with an appointed board that's gained contol over more money than I think anyone intended:
The Algiers Development District contributed $675,000 to make the street four lanes, said state Rep. Jim Tucker, R-Algiers, who chairs the Development District board.

The main thing is the city council voted to pay for a marketing team for a project that doesn't even have a management team yet. And it did so with no debate. I'm guessing that C. Ray wanted it, and whatever C. Ray does, the council will go with.

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