WWL>Topics>>11-21 12:10pm Garland, New Orleans Bio District

11-21 12:10pm Garland, New Orleans Bio District

Nov 21, 2013|

Well "lo-and-behold"…we've done many a think tank shows asking—where’s the money coming for the huge hospital complex in downtown New Orleans. We've been assured over and over it's a done deal…try not to be negative. Now comes the revelation that the one of the complex's jewels--the Bio District--has not secured a reliable source of annual funding. Are you surprised? And, what now? Garland talks to Gene D'Amour, Senior VP of Resource Develepoment for Xavier University and Chairman of the Board of Bio District.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well this should be in my confusion. -- our I was confused over the flood insurance rates and the fact that they. -- chance of going off. And in congress doesn't look like at this point they're going to stop and think they might but it just -- common sense. That with flooding in New Jersey and threats of hurricanes of these coached Florida. Hello Gulf Coast and -- threat of flooding even in Wyoming and California. That congress as a whole wouldn't auction forums but not so little confused on that. Shrinking police force and kind of a scathing report from the metropolitan crime commission didn't really. Understand how all that came about a little explanation parliament experts in this market third confusion Tuesday. For commuters and we've been doing shows on the -- district. We've been doing -- from the university medical center. And oh. We've looked on with the excitement. On all of these things that are being built and developed. In this city they have the potential to be a tremendous importance to all this just. Imagine Mayo Clinic serving in the midst of -- brings in tons of business outside people. Additional taxes just makes life better for everybody. But after the interview with -- state treasurer Joan Kennedy probably. Three years ago may be more. When I was. Talking with -- much excitement about this entire situation 15100. Acres. Downtown and and tremendous potential. It happened to mention -- no problem is they don't have a capital outlay budget and reliable way to. Paper everything once everything it's built. I just knew that had to be wrong so I've talked to interviewed a number of people over the years. And more governments mr. -- lose them by different. And he gets a little -- that would -- if incumbents say to him I looked. At the these. Economic cheat on bio district in -- city. And I don't see them the wrong in that situation money. And you always get a little upset it was sensible that negative it's completely and Kara. So what are pulled up a web site earlier in this week to subordinate cents. Mr. MacNamara. Loves that child organizations successes including creating an ambitious. Two point form. Million grant funded plan that promises to attract iron in terms of Joba people who want who have been in close because we're there work. The only problem news it hasn't secured a reliable source of annual funding that hasn't successfully. -- to biomedical business to New Orleans. -- all of its offers. Miss about America and make it Saturday and other emergency room remember -- -- to Morey has been gracious enough to come in short notes senior vice president. A resource development for Xavier University. And chairman of the board for the bayou district -- Truly appreciate them if you would get -- too much -- Or for my edification and and I would assume some people -- confuses. By the district in university medical center -- linked together. A lot of ways but a lot of -- they're not -- explain to me what it is and what is -- connect from humans well. Actually came from two different directions there they're very strongly related news synergistic but to relate to different projects. University medical center of course VA. Is a major construction project understudy to replace her hospital. The -- district actually started before Katrina. And before the UNC. Idea to receive medical center had actually. Becoming concrete notion. The -- district basically came about because. The group of university presidents and chancellors and business people. Wanted to look at how we could. Could create more grown more bring more advanced technology businesses to the city. You know if you look this -- -- to the greatest growth in employment economic development worldwide. Has been because of advanced technology businesses. Look at Silicon Valley I was just there to we still giving a presentation at Stanford I mean. You see these gorgeous Google FaceBook Texas Instruments these gorgeous buildings with this little city at least be able city. Suddenly has sprouted because Stanford University got together with this the folks in this city and move in this direction. For yours when we talk to the people that are running this. Organization. Where you get the money to -- it won't -- can also go up and there have been recent number of stores that come out and says they don't have the funding. Number of questions more for a dream to Moore who was via. Senior vice president resources development is Xavier and chairman of the border by -- -- -- won't -- Mentioned something notes before we get into -- troops. We act I think this'll lead to some explanations in that regard. Because we were asking the question how can we attract advanced technology consistency. We tried to we look at what does it take. It basically takes three things it takes a strong research base among the university's it takes -- technically literate workforce in that particular area. It keeps university industry collaboration can't do without university and she collaboration. We have all three of those in the area of files it's very strong lifesciences researcher -- personally sciences grants the stay come here. So we pulled together. All every chancellor president in the city. Chamber congress gee you know being. A regional planning commission. And dunked on development history. The study some of the working in the conclusion what we need to do is create it by how district. That is focused structured -- -- a structured on university industry collaboration that's what all of the legislature. And were able to get the -- to created. And then followed up with some funding 2.5 million dollars over two and a half years to -- in master plan. For the about district is all have been spent. That's -- that the solvents that. And then our next source of income was the legislature appropriated twice two years -- But 700000 dollars to run about district but in both cases it was beaten by the governor. Now and reusing it and I only know I think had I don't wanna put the where's the governor's ball but my impression was that the first case. The governor thought the bowed to stick with an Ngo non government organization it's not it's always hear that entity. That's what others have assistance isn't. It. The second year he thought I was gonna take away from a another institutional budget and so he vetoed it. And you know for organizations like the -- district. The times are tough for an organization that focus on civic purposes. And science. As you know federal government funding is weighed down a city is never any money at stake covered as the release fight over money they're fills a difficult time. And was set 2.5 million ran out we couldn't get to corporations. Know we had to try other means. One thing I can tell you is you're talking about universities. We miss universe to when it comes to research live from hand to mouth we live on grants. The grant to get from the federal government regrets to get from the states so unlike may be a business. We're used to having periods of time we don't have a lot of revenue and then suddenly in a period of time we have a lot of -- that's kind of where the -- district -- But it would -- neutral me off fear. That do you bring the company you can itself ball and you can do control -- and -- throw off revenue that you would use. For the capital expenditures. That's exactly right why hasn't that. You know I think it's because I mean first off we have one staff met her because going to be operating money. And that's staff member Jim met Murray's done extraordinary jobs whose bodies found it not been -- he's not been paid. But he's an -- entrepreneur he's worked with schools and doing work for them he's working bringing conferences in the city about sciences. He's he's helping the university grants. He's done a great deal without a body funding. But basically there is this authority as you say to tax. And to generate bonds that can in turn generate fees for about district. With regard to taxes. Again because the economy through this it's a -- In May be five years from now but not now. With regard the bonding authority can't believe we've were trying to find our way there Jim has had the opportunity for couple of major construction projects. In about district there were in our master plan. But the board felt that I think rightly so that some of them were not directly within our mission that is taking us away from the bio sciences. And and so basically in the end even though we we could have had those -- got the revenue. The board basically signal you know it would be great to have that revenue that we got to get the right project if we're gonna do it. -- -- regularly confuses his quote from there Mitchell Hendricks you should referring to the bayou district I didn't create that entity I don't know what they're doing. Doesn't -- like they have money. I don't know what the vision whose I don't know what in the -- is that we created at this time all of our corporate. Related to this is how's that New Orleans business alliance. Is there were. Fracture here where the mayor wants this to be don't buy another and it. Well there's a there's a fortunate aspect of that statement and an unfortunate for testing with the unfortunate is. I am and it's just a shame that we have not been able to get together sooner. With the mayor and his staff to explain what the buyout district is and what is its purpose in fact that. Even release a cumulative why not this has been years. Blog but. Aminu should you could range of the meeting or nobody attended the meeting that. Well that strikes me is amazing tiger and Nolan did attempt the media until recently. And I did speak with the mayor and asked him if I could talk with him for about thirty minutes it to tell him or but about it successfully -- learn work and everything. If you better understood that he would support. I have met recently with the staff explain it to them. And and I think you know my my senses as they learn more about the about the -- and what -- can do for the city. I really think that did that to me is gonna come on board now on the other hand enormous business alliance I was part of a strategic planning effort into -- does excellent. One of the top five areas is the biosciences. My feeling is that that. That if the New Orleans -- which by the way. That's a very different organization about district there isn't one university representative and minerals business -- you can't do this without university business collaboration. So on the other hand it's a great organization he's doing good work so rob Miller and I and John hope I got together and said look. Can't we form a stronger relationship between the new world business alliance in about district worked together possibly share resources. Coordinate strategies. So that we can make all of this work any in much for fruitful way rod agreed to pursue it. The mayor's staff have bought into this. And the board yesterday unanimously approved the idea of setting up an uphill task force. Just to see how can we were more close to a new world does the -- it's going to be better for everybody. Every indication that that maybe -- ago. It is at all what it and I was Google it's so far as that it does the alliance and about to have agreed. To get together and basically. Delineate what are the ways in which we can were strongly collaborate in coordinate our activities. And again -- -- this restructuring resources or management resource or whatever. That group is about to begin to get together and I would hope. That with the next three months. There were able to at least take a first step. In in developing a medium demo you -- topic and I think this is where the public can -- get confused. But sounds like. A great project sounds life. The wind we ought to be adding. Going into new technology and searched and all meshes with the UNC. But I hear you saying there hasn't hidden in these meetings with the -- critics claim to want to buy of this -- I hear the governor. Beat throwing money for you to do this great project because he hasn't won it is and then I hear all these organizations and well we all lobby like crazy. So what are all the -- communications have been -- McNamara for years show me the money well eventually like that would have been. The first initiative where you're right in that that's exactly right shall we the money. And my belief is this would not have happened if the -- that started ten years earlier or ten years later. But the problem is we started in 2007. When the recession started. And you've got all these federal pressures you got state refugee got -- pressure everybody's looking for dollars. So if you talk about creating something new moving forward everybody say wait a second -- to do that. I don't have money to pay what I'm doing right now. That's gonna change I believe again -- we had a much better situation ten years ago. Norton's the violent vicious hitter with started in that period of time when the state had more money. And and I believe will be out of this recession maybe the next four to five years. And once that happens will be able to get money from the city in the state king junior left for five years waiting for money -- from the civilians state well I think in in the midst of that I do still believe that will be able to bring in some projects that we can -- and that are truly about science project and get these out of that. I do think that we may. That it if we. Consolidate collaborate. Coordinate with other economic development organizations that we can get by we have share resources we have to share ideas we have to get on the same path. If we do that has survived as I say. I've got great research groups at Xavier university and I've seen him when I was at Tulane. Who who have. Period of time -- funded. Effect but the trend that is it was called bridge grants. Which flew over traded right now. But that -- get a dry period in May last for a year we left for three years but then boom because your good researcher you get the funding back again. -- and obviously complicated and extremely important issue here in the studio appreciate them and proud and thankful to him you know that there would love to have -- back sir as this thing goes along their thanks thanks.