City officials fear drainage trouble could cost NOLA businesses, jobs

Chris Miller
November 10, 2017 - 7:43 am

Are New Orleans' drainage issues giving companies second thoughts about being here? Some city leaders worry that could be the case.

Inadequate drainage and trouble communicating with the city departments and the Sewerage and Water Board has members of the city council concerned that businesses could be thinking about leaving. 

The problem was highlighted in a recent special city council meeting about Sewerage and Water Board issues -- a linen services company located in the Bywater, TLC, is being asked to present a storm water management plan for its property to the city, but according to some members of the city council, the company says it can't develop a plan because the city's drainage infrastructure is so awful.

Councilman Jason Williams said the company has already paid a lot of money for engineering, but are hitting a wall when dealing with bureaucracy.

"There's a very real possibility that this business says, 'You know what? There's some land in Slidell that I can get for a better price that has drainage in place and I'm just gonna move.' And all those folks that work there are going to be out of a job," said Williams. 

Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey agreed, and said she wants to work something out: "We really, really are running a risk of this business, which employs a lot of New Orleans residents, moving."

City officials plan on meeting with the business today to try and hash it out.

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