FEMA May Bill New Orleans $1.6M for Trailer Park Dispute

April 6, 2006

The city of New Orleans may have to pay the federal government $1.6 million if the Federal Emergency Management Agency is not allowed to finish a group trailer site in the Algiers section, a FEMA spokesman says.

Mayor Ray Nagin approved the site for 35 families on Dec. 19 and the project is 80 percent to 85 percent complete, FEMA spokesman Darryl Madden said.

After a weekend confrontation between residents and federal officials over construction at the site, Nagin said the city would suspend the installation of all group sites.

City Attorney Penya Moses Fields said that Nagin would not comment further on the dispute.

On April 4, the New Orleans branch of the NAACP announced its opposition to Nagin’s move to suspend the citywide installation of FEMA group trailer sites. New Orleans NAACP President Danatus King said displaced residents are “receiving mixed signals from our city” that are “causing them to make their permanent residences elsewhere.”

Suggesting that politics were involved in Nagin’s decision, King said complaints had been issued to the mayor from residents who “will most likely vote” in the upcoming mayor’s race.

Information from: The Times-Picayune, www.timespicayune.com.

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