Sunday, January 08, 2006

All Parts of New Orleans Included in Rebuilding Plan

NYT reported The city's official blueprint for redevelopment after Hurricane Katrina, to be released on Wednesday, will recommend that residents be allowed to return and rebuild anywhere they like, no matter how damaged or vulnerable the neighborhood, according to several members of the mayor's rebuilding commission.

No federal funds should be used to rebuild on land that is 7 to 15 feet below sea level.
The proposal appears to put the city's rebuilding panel on a collision course with its state counterpart, which will control at least some of the flow of federal rebuilding money to the city.
It better prevent ANY federal funds from going into the below sea level areas.
The primary author of the plan, Joseph C. Canizaro, said teams of outside experts would try to help residents of each neighborhood decide whether to rebuild or relocate. Those teams would help increase the odds of success for those residents who decided to return, Mr. Canizaro said.

The commission will propose that the city should discourage homeowners from rebuilding in the hardest hit areas until a plan can be hammered out, but will not forbid them from doing so.
If someone wants to spend his own money, and assume the total risk of building in that area, they should be able to, but if they are flooded out again they should not expect federal funds to rebuild again.
But ultimately, the areas that fail to attract a critical mass of residents in 12 months will probably not survive as residential neighborhoods, Mr. Canizaro said, and are likely to end up as marshland as the city's population declines and its footprint shrinks.
That sounds reasonable. Even more reasonable would be to take down the levees protecting that area and allow it to become a large lake.
People who rebuild in those areas will be forced to leave, according to the proposal. Though such a requirement would be emotionally wrenching, the commission will propose a buyout program to compensate those people at the market price before Hurricane Katrina, but it is not clear whether there will be federal financing for such a program.
Not a penny of federal money should be made available for that.

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