Potential Levee Costs Put Flood Protection on Hold in Louisiana

July 14, 2008

Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority has put off deciding how to spend $300 million for flood-protection projects in case the money is needed for the New Orleans-area’s levee bills.

The Army Corps of Engineers is putting in $12.9 billion in levee repairs and improvements. Louisiana’s share is $1.8 billion.

So far, federal officials have rejected state requests to let Louisiana pay the money over 30 years.

Authority chairman Garret Graves said that the $1.1 billion possibly due in 2010 amounts to one-third of Louisiana’s discretionary budget.

He said the Army Corps of Engineers may delay the payment for a year, but it would still have to be paid entirely within a year after the work is done. It’s expected to be finished in 2011.

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

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