This Saturday, New Orleans voters will consider a charter change amendment regarding the Sewerage & Water Board. I encourage the people of New Orleans to vote yes on this important reform, as it is a part of our ongoing efforts to improve accountability and deliver results across city government.
The Sewerage & Water Board is a critical agency, providing safe drinking water and protecting homes from flooding. Despite its importance, we inherited a system that was grossly underfunded.
That's why we have taken aggressive action to make major improvements.
First, we have successfully secured federal dollars for key infrastructure projects. We secured more than $200 million in new funding from FEMA for repairs to thousands of water and sewer lines, pumps and pump stations. We have secured nearly $150 million in FEMA hazard mitigation funds to help repair the aging S&WB power plant.
Second, to improve accountability, the S&WB now hosts public meetings to report out on its performance. Key department heads and program managers get feedback on what works, what doesn't and what needs to change.
Third, to improve coordination, we put S&WB and the Department of Public Works engineers in the same room, so that they can work hand in hand to fix pipes and streets in a coordinated and timely manner.