NEW ORLEANS — State spending on a replacement for Charity Hospital has topped $100 million, although construction has yet to begin.
The biggest amounts were $46.3 million for land, $43 million for architectural-engineering consultants and $7 million for other consultants, according to the state Office of Facility Planning and Control.
It said the total as of June 30 was $103.6 million.
Other costs include $4.1 million for legal services related to buying or expropriating the land and $2.6 million for relocation programs and $284,581 for demolition.
The projected total is $1.2 billion, but LSU hospitals chief Fred Cerise said earlier this month that the administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal and university leaders believe building it in stages can cut that to around $900 million — about the total available state and federal money.
The governing board wants a business and financing plan completed by September.
The state has cleared 176 of the 244 parcels of land where it plans to build, with 58 more in line for demolition. It still does not own two of the 244 parcels, but has bought 133 and expropriated 90.
Council tackles odor problem from basin
HOUMA — Terrebonne Parish officials have decided to forego use of state money and use local tax revenue instead to remedy an odor problem plaguing a parish neighborhood.
The Terrebonne Parish Council voted last week to approve a $350,000 project to deal with the odor invading the Summerfield area from a nearby sewage holding basin. Work is expected to begin in October and end by Dec. 31, officials said.
Originally, the council proposed using money from a $17 million state Department of Environmental Quality loan.
But Parish President Michel Claudet said using the state money would delay the project for months. So, the parish will use local tax money.
The basin is a holding area for sewage from 13 subdivisions.
Housing authorities receive HUD grants
NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Housing and Urban Development announced 102 public housing authorities in Louisiana are getting nearly $45.5 million for major improvements.
The Capital Fund grants in Louisiana range from $14,600 for the Housing Authority of the village of Parks in St. Martin Parish to $19.9 million for the Housing Authority of New Orleans. Monroe’s grant, at $2.4 million, is the second largest.
Housing authorities in Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Baton Rouge are getting $1.1 million to nearly $1.6 million. The average Louisiana grant is about $445,000.
The HUD program provides all public housing authorities annual grants to build, repair, renovate and modernize housing. The money can be used for big improvements such as new roofs or replacing old plumbing and electrical systems to use less energy.