A draft plan for how the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority proposes to spend $687 million on coastal projects and planning in the next fiscal year is now available for public comment.
The annual spending plan released Tuesday calls for applying about 60 percent of that amount, or about $412 million, toward the construction of projects. The rest of the money will go toward the planning, engineering and design of new projects; the operation, maintenance and monitoring of completed projects; ongoing programs; and operating costs
In total, the plan anticipates spending about $1.6 billion over the next three years, with about $1.4 billion to be spent on coastal work.
The plan is the result of post-Hurricane Katrina legislation that charged the coastal authority to come up with a master plan for coastal work every five years and then a yearly plan that outlines shorter-term goals.
Since 2007, the state has built or improved 265 miles of levees, built 45 miles of barrier island and done other work to help more than 27,000 acres of the coast, according to the annual plan.
The plan looks at what money the state expects to get for coastal work and where it will be spent, not only in fiscal year 2017, which starts July 1, 2016, but also for the next two fiscal years as well.
The public will have until Feb. 17 to comment on the draft plan, and the state will hold a series of three meetings next week to present the plan and accept comments. The plan will then have to be approved by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and, later this spring, by the state Legislature.
The public meetings will start with an open house at 5:30 p.m. followed by a presentation of the plan at 6 p.m. in Lake Charles, New Orleans and Thibodaux.
A copy of the plan is available at http://coastal.la.gov/2017- annual-plan/.
The meetings will be held at the following dates and locations:
Tuesday, Lake Charles Civic Center, Jean Lafitte Room, 900 Lakeshore Drive.
Jan. 13, Port of New Orleans Auditorium, 1350 Port of New Orleans.
Jan. 14, Warren J. Harang Jr. Municipal Auditorium Rosella Room, 310 N. Canal Blvd., Thibodaux.
The plan also will be discussed at the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority meeting at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 13 in the Oliver Pollock Room of the Galvez Building at 602 N. Fif th St.
Written comments can be mailed to CPRA, Attention: Chuck Perrodin, 450 Laurel St., Suite 1501, Baton Rouge, LA 70801 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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