NEW ORLEANS — After a report from the Inspector General about the Mayor’s apartment at the upper Pontalba, the French Market Corporation has paused decisions on what to do with the unit.
In the report, the IG suggested the Pontalba be put up for rent to the general public to benefit the French Market Corp. The report says the apartment’s use by the Mayor is in turn withholding thousands of dollars from the FMC.
Tuesday, the FMC met to discuss the IG’s report and what to do with the unit, but they decided to hold off on making any decision until they hear from the City Council.
“There is nothing for us to move forward on,” FMC Executive Director, Leslie Alley said.
The FMC says the building is owned by the city but managed by the FMC, except the Mayor’s unit. Management of the Mayor’s apartment was never relinquished back to any managing corporation after a major renovation occurred in the 1990s.
“It appears to be in conjunction with that major renovation the unit in question was removed from the rent rolls designated as the mayor’s apartment and never returned to any managers control,” Alley said.
The board says they have never received any instruction regarding the Mayor’s unit and they can’t move forward until they do.
“unfortunately, both the FMC staff and the OIG research of the historical records including those in city archives with mayor’s as far as 1930 found no written agreements or policies regarding the use of the Mayor’s apartment,” Alley said.
Councilmember Eugene Green, who also serves on the FMC board, says the council will address this issue in a timely manner. He says he doesn’t know yet how it should be used or what they should do with the unit, but it should be used in the best way that benefits the taxpayers.
“For example when the president of France comes in town you have a potential ability to stay in a facility that is on a very historic and in an historic area that can be an example of use that could have a benefit to the city,” Green said.
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