PROMOTION OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH:
- The NBC commissioned a St. Tammany Parish Oil and Gas Study to determine the Economic Development impact within St. Tammany Parish. As a result of its findings, we publicly supported the oil and gas industry’s energy production in the Greater New Orleans area and in Louisiana provided it is performed in a safe and responsible manner. We also support strong state and local oversight to ensure the industry meets its responsibilities to the community.
- The NBC, joined by over 60 business partners throughout Louisiana, in our commitment to the 2016 Coalition for A Stronger Economy (CASE) Agenda designed to support and grow Louisiana’s economy. This agenda follows a multi-year platform of priorities as follows:
- Accelerate growth in the private sector
- Adopt a pro-growth tax code
- Transform state budgeting to allow for prioritization of spending
- Develop Louisiana’s workforce to promote individual prosperity and a healthy economy for the future
- Prioritize infrastructure to sustain economic growth
- Improve Louisiana’s legal climate to be fair, efficient, and accountable
- Continuously work with Parish Officials in establishing new and improved Uniform Development Code (UDC) amendments as necessary, including a PUD overlay. A foundation for smart growth, the UDC is the basis for a parish-wide master development plan.
- The NBC continues to research and develop specific recommendations to streamline the St. Tammany Parish Planning and Zoning process.
- The NBC publicly supported the creation of the St. Tammany Parish Economic Development Districts and the passage of a new sales tax for infrastructure maintenance and improvements for economic development purposes.
- The NBC works closely with our legislative delegation, both at the state and federal level, to become well briefed on important issues to the business community and also to provide direct input to our elected officials.
- The NBC worked closely with LA DOTD back in 2008 to secure $300,000 in funding for a state DOTD study for its’ “First Look” to expand the I-12 corridor from two (2) lanes to three (3) lanes from Baton Rouge to Slidell. Since that time, infrastructure improvements have been made on a phased-in basis based upon fiscal appropriations.
- In 2010, the NBC took the lead in a study of the St. Tammany Parish School system performance scores against a standard of excellence to find some reliable method of comparing the performance of our school system with the school systems in counties of other states. After working collaboratively with the Administration’s leadership, specific strategies were put into place to address certain areas of concern. The St. Tammany Parish Public School students continue to earn the highest ACT scores in Louisiana and, once again exceeded the national average. The NBC enjoys a strong collaborative relationship with the St. Tammany Parish School System in large part due to the leadership of Superintendent Trey Folse.
- The NBC works closely with our higher education institutions within our Region in support of maintaining the necessary funding from State Government. Both Dr. John Crain from Southeastern Louisiana University and Dr. William Wainwright from Northshore Technical Community College are active partners with the NBC in our work.
- At the NBC, we recognize the cost to businesses of a slow permitting process. With so much of our area affected by wetlands and the rising cost of mitigation, we have taken a leadership role in developing plans to help move the process along. In 2011, the USACE created a new wetland mitigation method called the Modified Charleston Method (MCM) that tripled the amount of mitigation costs making development economically less feasible. The NBC led a broad coalition including GNO, Inc. to inform, educate, eliminate and substitute a more palatable and least costly method.
- The NBC has also worked with a broad coalition against the Biggert Waters Act of 2012 which was also subsequently delayed. In 2014, Congress passed the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act which appeals and modified the Biggert Waters Act. The NBC will again be part of the coalition in 2017 as the federal flood insurance program will be re-authorized and it is imperative the program work to protect property while not placing undue burdens on property owners in coastal communities.
- Joined with business and industry groups from the Southeast Louisiana region to fight to protect business from lawsuits such as the Coastal Restoration Litigation proposed by the Governor in late 2016.
QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUES:
- In 2015, the NBC commissioned the Metropolitan Crime Commission (MCC) to perform a Justice System Review of St. Tammany Parish. This review tracked the performance of the District Attorney’s office, the St. Tammany Sheriff’s office, St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court’s office, and the Judiciary of the 22nd District. The Final Report was released by MCC President Rafael Goyeneche at the NBC’s First Annual St. Tammany Parish Justice System Report Luncheon on April 5, 2017. This Final Report, provided publicly for the very first time, covered a two (2) year period (2013 and 2014) and included a complete and comprehensive performance analysis from ‘arrest to conviction’. The St. Tammany Criminal Justice System Report concluded that, from a public safety perspective, St. Tammany Parish is in very good shape but provided recommendations in a few areas to target for improvement. The St. Tammany criminal justice system in 2013 and 2014 had a high felony arrest to felony conviction rate of 63% when compared to national average rates of 54%. The violent crime rate per 100,000 residents in St. Tammany Parish was 60% below the national rate and more than 70% lower than the rate in Louisiana. This initial report provides a benchmark of the criminal justice system and will serve as a baseline to compare future years’ performance. To view the MCC’s Final Report, please click HERE.
The Criminal Justice System Accountability Project furthers the ongoing goal of the NBC to promote transparency, accountability and good government throughout all of St. Tammany Parish.
- The NBC provided strong support for the safety recommendations from the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission on their plan for additional Safety improvements to protect the wellbeing of motorists. The economy of St. Tammany Parish relies on the safety of its residents and of its workforce, which is composed of workers who commute into and out of the parish via the Causeway Bridge.
- The NBC is a partner with the Northshore Community Foundation in their Regional Vision Process to determine how best to address our economic development and quality of life opportunities in the region, while maximizing efficiency and effectiveness throughout partner organizations.