NEW ORLEANS - A new state task force will study problems at the New Orleans Sewerage & Waterboard and report on whether the agency should continue to exist.
According to the Uptown Messenger, the eight-member task force must report in six months on whether the S&WB is the best agency to manage sewerage, water and drainage infrastructure in New Orleans.
The eight members will be representatives from the New Orleans City Council, Mayor LaToya Cantrell's administration, the S&WB, the Inspector General's Office and other engineering, business and tourism leaders. Councilmember Jay Banks will represent the council on the task force. Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Ramsey Green will represent the Mayor's Office
The task force was established in a bill that passed the Louisiana legislature in May by a 70-0 vote. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Hilferty.
“Suggestions abound regarding the best management options for the city’s sewerage, water, and drainage facilities and services, including but not limited to public-private partnerships, granting control to the city, or allowing the Sewerage and Water Board to retain control,” the bill states.
The task force’s first meeting should happen before Aug. 1. The final report is due by Jan. 31.
The New Orleans Sewerage and Waterboard was created by the state in 1899.
“119 years ago we created this entity,” Hilferty said. “There’s an urgent need for comprehensive review of management structure of the Sewerage & Water Board and drainage facilities and services in Orleans Parish, including the accompanying legislation.”
The Uptown Messenger's Robert Morris contributed to this report.