Monday, 13 December 2010 22:10

Louisiana Business: Printers Merge, New Orleans Tax Milage, Army Corps of Engineers; N.O. Crime Awards

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Louisiana Business: New Orleans region printers merge; Council Arnie Fielkow discusses New Orleans property tax milleges;  US Army Corps awards contract; New Orleans Crime Commision announces grant awards to fight crime

Louisiana Printers Merge

Harvey-Hauser Press and Garrity Print Solutions today announced they have agreed to merge the two locally owned commercial printing companies into one organization to create a larger organization that will significantly enhance the printing capabilities, technology and capacity for customers.

The new company, to be known as Garrity Print Solutions, A Harvey Company, will enhance New Orleans' regional position in the printing industry. It also creates the largest commercial printer in the area in terms of annual sales and, because of the unique strengths of each, creates opportunities for all of the companies' stakeholders, including employees, customers and the community.

The transaction is effective immediately.

"Both Garrity and Harvey-Hauser have built reputations based on quality and a strong focus on customer service," said Paul Alker, who will serve as chief executive officer. "Our enhanced ability increases our competitiveness with printers located outside the region. Of significance to the New Orleans area, it will allow a lot of printing work that previously had to leave this market to return, and along with  it the profits and employment opportunities."

Both companies historically have been profitable. Over the past five years, they have invested more than $7.4 million on technology, printing presses, pre- and post-production equipment, and other areas to build their competitiveness and position the businesses for the future.

Fielkow and New Orleans Millage

Today, the New Orleans City Council passed an amendment that will increase property taxes by 7.74 mills for the year 2011. This millage increase is one mill greater than the 6.74 millage increase that the City Council approved on December 1, but it is one mill less than the Mayor’s proposed budget, which asked for an 8.74 millage increase. City Council President and Budget Committee Chairman Arnie Fielkow said the following at today’s regular City Council meeting.


“While the 2011 City Budget will be reviewed and measured throughout next year, today represents the culmination of literally hundreds of hours by all of us in trying to reach a final agreement which will shape our city’s future. This has been a long, difficult and, at times, an emotional process but one that is extremely important to all of our citizens. I would like to thank all of those involved, but especially those New Orleanians who have provided their input, ideas and suggestions throughout the process.


“Today’s vote is not an easy one for me because, for several years, I have opposed tax increases given the financial challenges faced by our citizens and small businesses. On December 1, I voted for what I believed then and continue to believe was a beneficial budget for the City of New Orleans. It was a budget which reduced the millage rate 25% from what was proposed, yet still provided the new Administration the resources it needed to move our city forward and successfully implement its articulated vision.


“Although not included in the final adopted budget, we explored other sources of revenue as a means to fund the city’s needs. While subsequent research has revealed that these other potential sources of revenue may not be timely, the 2011 budget could still have been formalized without further millage by alternatively reducing budget expenditures further. In fact, such a position was supported by the Council majority in our prior discussions.


“Having said the above, it is also clear to me that our form of government here in New Orleans works best when all branches of government are working in partnership. Over the past several years, our citizens have been subjected to a divided and often combative government – one which at times did not serve this city well during a time when we needed a united and effective government. In the final analysis, my vote of support today is based upon a choice to engage upon a new path of unity and partnership..


“Our new Mayor has asked that we provide him with these resources so we may collectively put New Orleans on sound financial footing and continue the positive changes his Administration has started. I believe we have a Mayor that will lead this city to great things ahead and, through my vote today, am hopeful that his vision and strategic plan can be put in place. It is, at the end of the day, a vote for the spirit of partnership and my commitment to a government which works for a better New Orleans.


“2011 should be an exciting year and this City Council will work hard to ensure that the Administration’s benchmarks are met. Tax equality and collection of all uncollected obligations will be a big part of this. I ask all New Orleanians to stay engaged and help this Administration and this City Council – indeed our great city – reach its incredible untapped potential.”  


US Army corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, recently awarded a contract for construction of a new Shell Pipeline Floodwall to 100-year level of risk reduction, in St. Charles Parish.  Once complete, the floodwall will reduce risk for residents and businesses from a storm surge event that has a one percent chance of occurring each year.   


“The Shell Pipeline Floodwall contract is the final contract award on the east bank of the St. Charles Parish,” said Brad Drouant, project manager.  “This award brings the total construction contracts award amount in St. Charles Parish to nearly $100 million.”


The $1.6 million contract was awarded to a small business, Bucktown Contractors and Co. of Kenner, Louisiana.  Bucktown Contractors will demolish the existing 40 ft. wall and take out the existing base slab, to construct a new floodwall along the same alignment to 160 ft. in length.  Shell will permanently relocate the pipeline thorough the new T-wall.  The new wall will be constructed to a height of +17 ft. 


This risk reduction feature is located on the lake side of Airline Hwy. near Valero St. Charles Refinery.  Construction is scheduled to be complete by June 2011.


Work completed under thirteen other contracts raised over 50% of the 10 miles of levee and floodwalls on the east bank of St. Charles Parish to the 100-year level of risk reduction.


New Orleans Crime

The New Orleans Crime Coalition (NOCC) announced that the $1.5 million included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, for the NOCC will now be released to ten local crime-fighting agencies.


Ten local agencies will be the beneficiaries of this Congressional Selected Award. The recipients and their respective grant allotments include:


New Orleans Police Department, $125,000, for the implementation of Community Policing efforts

Orleans Parish Information Sharing and Integrated Systems, $150,000, for a technology project that falls under the umbrella of New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation and benefits all agencies within the criminal justice system

District Attorney’s Office, $287,500, to fund the hiring of more attorneys

Office of the Public Defender, $100,000, to fund sentencing alternatives

Bridge House, $237,500, to supplement substance abuse treatment

24th Judicial District Court, $100,000, to implement intensive Probation Drug Court

Children, Youth and Planning Board / Greater New Orleans Afterschool Partnership, $107,000, for juvenile services

Children, Youth and Planning Board / Youth Empowerment Program, $93,000, for juvenile services

City of New Orleans, New Orleans Parish Prison, $110,000, for anticipated for electronic monitoring

New Orleans Crime Coalition, $40,000, for public perception of the NOPD surveys

New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, $150,000, for fiscal agent fee for administration, oversight, federal reporting and audit fees

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