New Orleans, La. – City Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux told the council that his office has been shut out of the process of planning an entertainment complex for the auditorium that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Nagin's plan that he announced in his State of the City address last year calls for the 1930s building to house nonprofits and cultural organizations as well as emerging media and a theater. Developer Stewart Juneau submitted the only bid for the project that could cost up to $100 million dollars.
Council Vice President Jackie Clarkson said the project is a good idea, but funding must first be in place.
Director of Capital Projects Bill Chrisman said FEMA is still evaluating the damage, and the proposal that the inspector general described as a "contract for nothing" is not yet a contract. He said it's premature to judge the proposal before city staff and attorneys finalize a deal. Council President Arnie Fielkow and other members asked that the public be included in the process.