[StBernard] Legislation for 911 fee increases in New Orleans and St. Bernard parishes advances
westley at da-parish.com
Fri Apr 27 09:02:30 EDT 2012
Legislation for 911 fee increases in New Orleans and St. Bernard parishes
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012, 9:15 PM
By Ed Anderson, The Times-Picayune
Baton Rouge -- A Louisiana House committee Thursday narrowed the scope of a
bill increasing fees for 911 emergency telephone service in New Orleans,
then sent it to the full House for more debate. The Committee on Municipal,
Parochial and Cultural Affairs kept alive Senate Bill 361 by Sen. J.P.
Morrell, D-New Orleans, a measure that has already cleared the Senate. It
must go back to the Senate for approval of any House-made changes.
The bill calls for a monthly increase in 911 emergency telephone fees from
$1 to $2 on all residential landline telephones; and a monthly increase from
$2 to $3 for commercial landline service, not to exceed 100 lines.
In its present form, the bill requires the New Orleans City Council to
submit to voters the proposed new schedule of fees to support 911 calls.
The bill calls for a monthly increase from $1 to $2 on all residential
landline telephones; and a monthly increase from $2 to $3 for commercial
landline service, not to exceed 100 lines.
It also institutes three new charges: $1.26 a month on wireless service, $2
a month on residential broadband fee connections and $3 a month for
commercial broadband connections.
The bill was amended in committee to make the broadband fees apply just to
"voice-over Internet" service. Morrell said that by restricting the
broadband fees, the amount of fees for the New Orleans Communications
District would decrease from the earlier estimated $4.4 million.
He could not say how much less would be generated.
The panel also approved without change Morrell's Senate Bill 630 which gives
St. Bernard Parish its first 911 rate increase -- if voters approve the new
The bill would impose a maximum $1-per-month fee on residential landlines,
up to $2.07 on commercial landlines and $1.26 a month on "cellular or other
wireless telecommunications service."
St. Bernard Parish now imposes a fee based on a percentage of the monthly
telephone bill. There was no estimate how much the new fee schedule would
The bills tie the fees to the users' street address so someone with a New
Orleans or St. Bernard area code who lives in another city would not be
assessed the wireless charge.
On another local issue, the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways and
Public Works approved Senate Bill 699 by Sen. Edwin Murray, D-New Orleans,
that re-creates the authority of the agency that helps oversee the non-flood
assets from the old Orleans Levee Board, such as marinas, buildings and the
Sen. David Heitmeier, D-Algiers, a member of the panel who handled Murray's
bill, amended out language that could have turned the operations of the
airport over to the New Orleans Aviation Board, the agency that runs Louis
Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
The bill continues to give the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management
Authority the power to sell or lease the levee board's non-flood assets on
condition that the first offer must be made to the parish in which the
property is located.
Murray's bill now heads to the Senate floor for debate.
C 2012 NOLA.com. All rights reserved.
More information about the StBernard