WWL>Topics>>7-29-14 3:10pm Angela: on street repairs in Algiers

7-29-14 3:10pm Angela: on street repairs in Algiers

Jul 29, 2014|

Angela talks with Skip Gallagher of the Algiers Point Neighborhood Association and Tall Timber residents Len Hale and Tom Rinard about the pothole problem in Algiers.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

We talked to so many wonderful local people about their neighborhoods and -- from the front -- segment. Learning why they love where they live the victories they've experienced post-Katrina. And the challenges they still face. What always comes up as a nation to be faced is streets. Potholes. When will they be fixed. And that's no different for the people we have in studio today from the west bank of New Orleans. From the Algiers point neighborhood association. -- Gallagher serves as treasurer. And for the tall timbers neighborhood -- hale and Tom Reynard. And I can't thank the three of you for being with -- Interesting conversation coming -- I know you'll love where you live and that there are many positives. And we're gonna get to those but I think that my sense is you'll have joined being fixed my street movement. And so I would like to. Here from New York concerns. But I basic concern. And tall -- Is the fact that we have streets now. And we're not talking about potholes and no longer. When I first came to the neighborhood and streets were quite good this is in 1975. And now as we see this priest began to erode. We didn't see anything. Interest our capability of the city to -- him. And to repair the in the problems before they gotten as monumental as they are today. We have streets that are basically impassable. And you have to swerve around the area. And some. Occupy the entire street so you have to really go very slow. When you go places because they're so badly damaged. If in fact you would hope you might go to a -- -- too tall timbers and you drive there at night and not be aware all these areas you can really damage your car badly. And course you could conceivably. And damage yourself as well in the ensuing problems. What we've been looking for and what we want. This to have a plan of some kind. In order to fix the infrastructure of the city we realize and other places have problems as well. We're here to talk to tell you that alzheimer's of course. And we want to make sure that that everyone understands that we appreciate the problems that there are also having. And perhaps some of the things that we say would apply equally to them. I think that is not tell you anything you don't know but it all started in -- view with the fix my streets and and it's just caught fire because of the very danger -- Well. According in the nannies. As these things became more obvious and evident and and much of world problem. At that time I was president of the association. And -- took a camera number -- have a picture of all of the raised. Manhole covers. All of the damaged streets in. Then in the -- color. Animated pamper them in the book that if you will and I gave them to this to the head of the department of the streets. And also to. Our council person. And want to the mayor's office was just in the ninety's yes in the -- And nothing happened nothing nothing not one mistakes not one. Okay now that continued to become by a bigger problem. Now in fairness to the city. Prior to Katrina we had begun to began to receive some. Stream millions street repair. Of course Katrina came in and that's stop the repair and we've had nothing since then. Okay let me ask -- have you all contacted. Your City Council person have you gone to City Hall. We had her come to your meeting. Okay -- a book to our general membership meeting and this in the head of this department streets recently yes yeah. K okay me. I've written that you may goes I go back five -- personally and it each injury my years. -- there aren't in jail right now but. They have done after there ain't nothing you're left if -- your response. Okay and we're talking Algiers point also has some street issues. I think new Yorker -- goes across the city I'm driving any name residency that I think that's why every neighborhood turns around and says like this is a great idea what we do something. I think the answer is where do you find a solution and -- wants proposes by council member had to do said look we need to fonts for the us. Let's go after some of these groups who are using city services. And yet not paying taxes. And we've actually found examples in our neighborhood of that where we have. I I've called on churches in name only. We had one instance where a -- church property was owned by husband wife and brother those were the only members of the church. Yet their property doesn't pay taxes and it's actually bladed. That is now since been sold to another church who has let it sit for years and is again blighted. That property is not paying taxes is once it's declared a church it doesn't pay taxes out. And we have had a Stacy had on him but she's on a mission with that and I think -- as we look and we've said many times on this program. This city doesn't have enough revenue name cannot continue to tax the same 25% of the people who -- So where do we get the money from her idea is on target. Not not unique in that other communities around this country. Have looked at nonprofits. And may not be called attacks but it's a feat because they use the streets they use the lights they used them. Back -- to be part of it. Are you all I'm so impressed sir that you would go to the trouble of putting booklet together with color photographs. Of all these pot holes. Give it to them and nothing. Happen. That that's written I think -- -- my feeling about it is that. I think the real answer is it that we need to GA LA and plan. And and not something that. -- -- because we're having the world's fair are overweight because we got excited about repairing some streets. And the streets are of course being repaired somewhat downtown. In the central business district and I can appreciate you need to do that. I don't appreciate the fact that -- that's going on we have yet. You see any repair. After such a long period of time. And the fact that we do play -- a fair amount of taxes. We just would like to get some of our tax dollars back in the service that the city should provide to us. Your island you were saying that. Christian Palmer right she is no longer on the council in revenue council person you've been able to meet with her. No we have not to be an hour affair should. Really you know we have started this group of France with -- adamant that if we jumped on this match should say definitely. I -- shun initially. And you know. High enough attention that. Because it's. It was barn and frustration pure frustration. You drag your -- gone by and you far. -- I have pushed it within three year history being different and replaced. I've heard my bedroom and have been from out. I've heard charge hit. Trying tree in front. And actually change our election night about blocking mine done with car entry and it has to be there had to be enhanced safety issues to him I had. Okay we're gonna have to take a break but we're gonna continue our talk with people from the West Bank not like so many others. Fixed my street which really says unions give discipline. Stay with us we'll be right back on Angela under the WS. We are back talking. Three men from the West Bank -- -- Gallagher Algiers point neighborhood association and Lynn hale and Tom Ryan -- with tall timbers. Echoing what so many neighbors of sent. Bad streets and so what is the plant what is your plan. Together. My my suggestion to. To city officials. Is that we need a plan a ten year plan a twenty year plan and I am not exactly sure what they would spend time. And of course when you come up with that and you must come up with -- with the cost of of that plan because we'll then be. A deterrent because you're going to say oh my god I can't do that. That's too much money I heard it costs on doing this streets. In the -- here in the New Orleans area and it was nine billion dollars and they say oh we just well. Yes you have to stop. At some point in time stop the madness and start doing what you're supposed to be doing and that is fixing the streets so if you. If you have to go and search for money. If you have to go and search for additional taxes. Then you've got to convince the people that this is -- it is going to pictures trees. And I think you would get some help in that regard I don't I hate to say that because. No interest of politicians anymore that's why they can't pass a tax bill. But if they would if they would be honest. And stand up for the city. And not for some other reasons of personal agendas. Then maybe we can get our streets -- but you're gonna have to first have a plan you're gonna have to believe in the plan. And you're gonna have to really put money to it and then executed properly and not let it become burdened down with. More and more engineering drawings and more and more stops and starts and it's. The plan and say. Okay it's a ten year plan as you say it's gonna cost X amount and this is where were starting. So you in the plan will be in years three or you will be in year five. Whatever whatever. Have you all ever been to way city budget hearing yes I have that. Is there an opportunity for you as a citizen to stand up and say that when you get to that department. Not to my knowledge. It's it's not there and it's an open meeting because we're allowed to come and listen to your. That is not a matter of they're taking pros and cons of me on each of the department's. And I think the issue may be aggravated a bit because DO TD in the states department turn station has had their budget successively. Cotton for the last six years. And that means that this this city has to step up to the plate with more more dollars and can't rely on the state for assistance with the restaurants. And we've seen that reflective and -- bridge maintenance and -- was it. State Louisiana bridges or something like Christine minus by. Which is one of the lowest in the country. I think only California has more lower rated bridges only because it's much much much larger state. So we're facing some issues that the city. Efforts to repair roads are aggravated by the states. Lack of assistance to state pace for local streets or just states. Fruits and I think that this -- roads coming and they assist with but they don't always step up the plate for example I think general to call. That money came from -- fees from the Crescent City connection along with federal matching dollars. And then some state money but a significant portion of it which helped leverage the federal dollars came from residual polls. And actually some of the feeder streets were paid for by. All morning. -- -- when you come off the bridge. And you don't generally go all -- state road. Until you get to holiday is actually just before holiday insert the Berman. Cut off -- exactly where that -- take you into Berman. And they fixed after. That's very -- -- and this is about that. Third or fourth time they've fixed it since I've been here and in general Myers estate -- road as well. And they overlay that then reprinted. At least 45 -- 2000. You can get eagle on the other side of general de Gaulle and from the overpass heading toward the bridge. And it's like going to the Grand Canyon certain parts and I did read where they're going to -- To start working on that. They are supposed to start in August. And they're supposed to go from holiday. -- woodland. And that's what I've done -- runs that's what I have heard. On both sides of the street who votes on both -- that's encouraging high hopes that that would normally. But before we go to another break wanted to. Street lights that's another issue with so many people are you finding it in -- totally has yes ma'am we have the problem for. We've had a problem for a long long time. And we -- the various members that they have given us -- changed and so forth. And we we have a program for it's called when this light goes out it's called them. And then we checked on it and who hasn't if there's not repaired within. A couple weeks we call again and see what the status is in -- hasn't been repaired. Generally speaking I have to say that to to the mayor that he's done a good job in repairing replacing. And repairing street lights. But what is what has been in this circumstance is that if all you have to do is -- change involved. In the distance fairly quickly. But if you have difficulty in that. Street -- itself where it needs them. But deeper work. Then. You're you may not have that done for a long long time. And over now. His years in some cases and I know the street dikes were not being repaired. Simply because it is from. Major -- travel -- And we found this a similar sort of success that -- really compared to six or eight years ago. You might -- one or two years just to get a street light replaced him. And now we're seeing maybe a year and a poll it's been knocked down by a drunk driver or some other accident. Is replaced within a year or so it it's amazingly speedy. Well I well if you look at it in you if you follow up on. And you stick with it and they understand that -- going to be -- -- and I think they do much better gem I think he's X. Akron right. Mo Morgan and on that China would stay with us because we're gonna talk about other aspects of the West Bank. The good the bad -- and some concerns your hand right after this I'm Angela on WWL. And we're back talking to some really fired up guys from the west bank and it's gonna say -- -- Gallagher and Alan Hale and Tom Ryan aren't. I appreciate you being here and you've got the passion and -- actually have the history tip. Because you've been fighting battles for a long time pre Katrina post-Katrina. And the battle goes on. So the idea is that you think the city should have a plan of attack for streets that you let people know. For streets street lights we're gonna move on if we can to. Your thoughts on what's happening crime lies in your your areas. We say yeah -- and tell him as we see an uptick in crime. Not so very much at didn't at the moment in our own neighborhood although we have had more. Recently in the past. But the crime around us is is increasing and them. We're concerned about it moving into our neighborhood. We have four ever had. Security patrol. And we had a security patrol that by a a a policeman who were doing and -- detail work. Way back. Before I can remember. And he's still there on the he's retired now and then he has been for a number of years and he is there. Our security person. And we we have less than we have security. Patrols. A certain period of time every day. Seven days a week. And we also have an answer he answers their phone calls. Whenever they made me. Whatever -- regardless point 47. And we have. We still have a very safe neighborhood. And I am not too concerned personally about crime. -- say in the neighborhood I'm concerned about crime and is still. Boiling in the in the city and and causing. It to move into our traditional circumstance. Because -- ultimately something like this has got to affect every neighborhood of course it. Algiers point ours is dramatically dropped in the last year I think if you are back to my gains worth murder. We started installing cameras throughout the neighborhood who weren't somewhere we have to go in this week two more aware of about a 110. Project no cameras in the neighborhood. And it's made a remarkable difference in our crime has made it go away we'd love to say it's made it go away. But it's plummeted and it's he it's very difficult that they're looking at video and somebody not say well that's me breaking into a car. And we've had one family her entire family that's been arrested they've all been caught on video and arrested are all currently in jail. And they were background noise crime in our neighborhood for years. We had one elderly man who'd been stealing for thirty years and he was caught on camera. On this third felony. We had a pair of cousins one caught breaking indoor car and the three months later or in front of video camera. And three months later his cousin was caught breaking into another car and another street right in front of the camera. Those folks now have to sit there and face a video camera not some persons not some vague testimony. By a really nice clear image. And that plea deals seem to not be as generous. They seem to be going away for a longer period of time about that family the whole family the whole family has been involved in crime for years and every single one of them has been in jail at some point. I think of one of the women still live in the neighborhood. But most of whom are all the terrorism they're in jail currently. You could written that out one of your issue uses. Blue lights including abandoned vehicles. Yeah and we I've been pursuing fight for years. You know it seems to go hand in hand with crime doesn't have her and actually I think you're on your last hour you talked about education and that actually it is plays a large role to make it. But and that's a long term -- you've got to educate over decades so -- but we have to deal with. You know New York -- -- years ago figured out if we clean up crime seems to go away and what we try to do is really focus on those blighted. Properties long term player properties is one of the reasons why I told you we have. A church property this blighted in the neighborhood it's not the only church property in the neighborhood despite it but one. But people are paying taxes there's no incentive for them -- to do much of anything and nothing happens. We try to pursue them to deploy process in the city but it's it's a slow process. But if you don't start it it won't happen to her and if it takes a year or two years at least -- it. It's still a success and the property -- will be sold. It will be taken over by the city and brought to sheriff's sale or the owner will clean up the property. And those results are occurring but he really takes diligent people. We often have a neighbor or two or three who will take on a certain properties it's plated. And those neighbors -- follow up on that property for years if it takes. And. I guess some and I don't mean to -- I guess I just will never understand why something takes years. I really don't. I think with the case of property you're taking some tangible asset and it. Americans really feel look this is my property up its mind you can't take it and the courts feel the same way so it has to go through legal process that actually. Time consuming and expensive. And this city has to go -- -- and such a way or the court will find it it's not a valid. Removal of property. And I don't think it's unreasonable to think. Two years let's go to the court process lets me and everybody -- second chance -- -- two years -- after two years you know what. We -- removal. It was probably aggravated. Quite a lot by Katrina absolutely and the number of properties that we have. -- and some people took advantage of that to. But a lot of people didn't take advantage it's just they had enough to do some repairs but maybe not enough. And then there is is some ideas somewhere that well I've always owned it it's mine. I might not do anything with -- It's not yours either. No but you have a responsibility to cut the grass you have a responsibility. That half of the just sliding over to somebody guilty -- There's a certain segment that doesn't believe that last part yeah I think your right to take another break but stay with us we're not finished with the West Bank. Enjoying very much listening to skip Gallagher -- hale and Tom Ryan aren't. Talk about other issues are facing on the West Bank not terribly different from other areas one thing I do wanna talk about before we lose this time. Is the Algiers ferry coming back you know better hours and that -- They just announced that they are extending their hours earlier than anticipated so we're gonna get them a little bit earlier than. Well they were supposed to be extended to middle of this month July and then they pushed in a month and now they've. Returned it to believe August 1. So gonna see those extended hours just a little bit earlier. We're hoping that will improve ridership even further because now people like to be able to make it to job make it to nine out across town. And I'm and then to the concert on Wednesday's that we have in the point. And I have no doubt this is ridership increases they're going to put those hours back to noon we've also found the RTA it'd be. Cover more helpful and talkative. And I think in the early stages of this process they were a little confused on trying to take this process over from state. Partly because there's a lot of laws involved and a foreign companies basically operating the boat on US national waters. The other is that the states a little confused. I want to hear from new law tall timbers and could we always usually starter -- with what is special about your name. I think special that alzheimer's is number one that we have we have a lot of trees. And there there have been there for a long time their fully matured. It makes it very pleasant. Place. We have. Very low crime rate. And we have capability for ladies than. Children two to play it in and around the area without. Concern. We. I think that's -- one of the very large. Attractions that people find in him tall -- And we have over the years and maintain our property primarily. In very good condition. Where we are. As we've mentioned is seeing something that changing in that but none none of any great dramatically not dramatically and we intended. Q rescue team together -- and we were doing what we have to do and going through a lot so I think that. Most of the ladies like it because it's it's safe for them each day and London and is a very pleasant place to live. It's a beautiful area. As -- hello I am a believer in the neighborhood is very safe. It's -- nice quiet. Edge. And her. It's -- irritant detainment mr. -- And here play on if you want -- in -- bank on the vineyard -- community. -- Except for the sound of the front end car if it'd it can I am ignoring my negatives and guys. -- -- -- I'm not laughing and -- and that -- before the game before -- a huge yes to that does it. My I have history where I -- to charge hitting that night I did the news channel through over thirty years. The street has been in the same condition for over thirty years. It goes back to Tom's plan and even if you don't have the planned -- jumped. That day in your peers and it I'm sure there's a planned somewhere. That if there is its best kept secret I know in new. But when politicians. In your counsel people and department -- go to your meetings. Which they make an effort to do. Why aren't they saying here's the plan or you'll say where is the plan. -- Gentile -- we don't have any money. We don't have any plans on finishing your street can act stature I received last plan. We talked with the director of public works at Harvard journal membership making. And you know you hit you hit show frustrated that it can. You hit Cuba purchase sometimes I mean there are asking to do -- -- go to protest in front of the buyers this maybe. And our neighbor is one of the oldest in New Orleans. In Algiers point and people just don't recognize that is -- high points when people first moved here. It's above sea level and -- people liked there was no -- respect them. And it's a very old neighborhood most Victorian. Homes. Mostly Victorian homes and neighborhoods. And -- very quiet the river on two sides -- Rica you can toggle on the Levy we -- several parts. We've got all kinds of organizations friends of the library but got confetti kids which is a Childrens play group that meets. About 2000. Homes and Algiers point area. And everyone knows everyone I'm told the story and how many times have gone out to work and my neighbor said you're not aware that your now as I've gone back and and changed. What my neighbor's neighbor my neighbor knows I want them up to all my neighbors know -- and it's a really I know every personal blog and I know most of people on the next block in the next one. Well that's always impression I've had a Algiers point is there's a real sense of community. And the fact that you have the music things on Wednesday's match. Brings people together means we get to know your neighbors. It's hard not to do you know everyone's on their front porch and if somebody's having -- barbecue you're probably there. But but I love what they don't like you're sure go back and should start -- what happens -- more than once. Let's talk fashion the next hour none -- -- so we'll look I might not be. Good now let's take another break but stay with us. Steve Gallagher Lynn hale and Tom Ryan argue my new best friends thank you very very much for taken -- to the West Bank. Well enjoy your day and we'll see you tomorrow.