Gretna will divvy up $500,000 of its $3.3 million in BP settlement money to use on street and sidewalk repairs in its four council districts and will put just under $2 million aside to fund projects with citywide benefit.
Another $828,223 of the total will go to attorneys’ fees, according to an ordinance introduced at the City Council meeting Wednesday.
Gretna Mayor Belinda Constant said the distribution, which won’t be voted on until the October council meeting, would allow the city to decide on a case-by-case basis which projects are worthy of investment.
“This is one-time money. We’ll never see it again, so hopefully the investment would bring a positive financial return back to the city,” she said.
Constant said an example of such a project could be the ferry house on the Mississippi River bank. The city is still in discussions with the state to try to resume ferry service to the east bank, even if it is just on weekends.
Resuming ferry service would have an impact throughout the city, she said.
As for the $500,000 divided up among the districts, Constant said council members would have discretion over what improvements will be made, but that each district’s $125,000 allocation specifies it is for street and sidewalk repairs.
She said the district funds would not be available for use until the new year.
The $3.3 million was Gretna’s portion of the $18.7 billion settlement that five states and the federal government reached with BP to cover extra expenditures and lost tax revenue due to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.