[StBernard] Joint Budget Committee Approves $14 Million to Support Parishes Implementing New Building Codes

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Thu Sep 21 22:37:19 EDT 2006

Joint Budget Committee Approves $14 Million to Support Parishes Implementing New Building Codes

BATON ROUGE, La. (September 21, 2006) - The Louisiana Legislature's Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget approved the Louisiana Recovery Authority's (LRA) plan this week to provide $14 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds to local governments as they implement the new statewide building codes.

The initiative will offer training for code enforcement officials so they can accurately implement the provisions of the revised code. Parishes without a building inspection office will be provided with resources to create one.

"We thank the committee for their support of this important initiative as we rebuild our homes, schools and workplaces," said LRA Board Member Tim Coulon. "This sends a clear message to local cities and parishes that we are here to help - we will provide all the resources they need to help them meet these new codes."

The stringent new codes were developed as part of Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's ongoing commitment to rebuild a safer, stronger and smarter Louisiana. In accordance with the state's Uniform Construction Code Council (UCCC), local governments must implement the new statewide building code by January 1, 2007.

Since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, local governments in the most severely affected parishes have limited financial resources to provide staff to establish the new statewide building code in conjunction with implementation of the Road Home housing assistance program.

In August 2006, the LRA Board endorsed guidelines for the code enforcement funds that include:

* Funding to support the operating capacity shortfalls of the most severely impacted parishes for code enforcement activities, especially in areas where this capacity could limit the ability of homeowners and businesses to get permits;
* Support the efforts of the UCCC to implement the new state building code through regional code compliance offices;
* Training for code enforcement officials; and
* Assist the State Fire Marshall's office to adapt to new needs caused by the new statewide building code.

The full legislature will consider the measure by mail ballot in the coming weeks. Should it pass, the LRA will work closely with the Louisiana Municipal Association and the Louisiana Police Jury Associations to implement the new codes.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated South Louisiana, destroying more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 businesses. The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the planning and coordinating body that was created in the aftermath of these storms by Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to lead one of the most extensive rebuilding efforts in the world. The LRA is a 33-member body which is coordinating across jurisdictions, supporting community recovery and resurgence, ensuring integrity and effectiveness, and planning for the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana.


More information about the StBernard mailing list