Business Mixer

Algiers Economic Development Foundation (AEDF), in partnership with the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), invites you to attend our “BIENVENIDOS” Business Mixer.  The event will be hosted by the International School of Louisiana (502 Olivier Street, New Orleans, LA 70114) on September 18, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

“BIENVENIDOS”!

Free and Open to the Public~ Complimentary Hors d’oeuvres & beverages will be served~

Click here to RSVP.

If you would like to become a door prize sponsor or a Business Spotlight Associate, please
click here or contact AEDF at (504) 362-6436 or via email info@algierseconomic.com.

Business Spotlight

www.samsclub.com

CCC Toll Amnesty Program is set to begin Monday, July 22, as required violation notices sent

New Orleans, LA – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) notifies the New Orleans toll community that the Crescent City Connection (CCC) Amnesty Program is set to begin Monday, July 22.

Pursuant to Act 274, the program provides an opportunity for toll violators to resolve outstanding amounts due by payment of the tolls without late charges and administrative fees. The program will begin Monday, July 22, and conclude October 1, 2013. Persons who take advantage of the program will be relieved of any further obligations and be obligated only to pay amounts due under the program.

Individuals who want to participate in the program must fill out the CCC Toll Amnesty Program Application, have it postmarked by October 1, 2013, and mailed to DOTD, Attn: CCC Toll Violation Amnesty Program, P.O. Box 6297, New Orleans, LA  70174-6297. Checks or money orders will be accepted. Checks should be made payable to DOTD. Additional information is available online at www.ccctollamnesty.com.

Any person who has entered into a payment plan agreement in connection with failure to pay a toll to cross the Crescent City Connection Bridge prior to January 1, 2013, may utilize the program to finalize their account balance. Approximately 22,000 individuals will be receiving required notices for prior violations. However, if notice recipients participate in the CCC Toll Amnesty program only the toll amount would be due as opposed to the toll plus fines and late fees.

Upon conclusion of the program, all violators who have not participated will be identified and all evidence of outstanding toll violations will be turned over to the Department of Justice for collection of the full payment. Individuals would then be subject to the Department of Justice’s debt collection methods which include flagging driver’s licenses, garnishing wages, and seizing bank accounts.

This is a voluntary program; each eligible toll debtor must determine if participation is in their best interest. This program applies exclusively to violations incurred on the Crescent City Connection in New Orleans. The bill was co-authored by State Senator J.P. Morrell (District 3) and State Representative Girod Jackson (District 87).

The violation processing portion of state’s electronic toll collection system which served CCC became fully functional and able to access violator information. Since then, DOTD has been sending out violations notices as they occur as well as working to catch up the processing of past violation images.  The result of these efforts is that DOTD staff has now processed CCC violation notices for approximately 22,000 individuals that were part of the backlog.

DOTD will not resend invoices previously sent which are eligible for the program. Previous violators will bear the responsibility to inquire online, US Mail, or email if an outstanding toll is owed.

For more information on the CCC Toll Amnesty program, please visit www.ccctollamnesty.com or email ccctollamnesty@geauxpass.com.

DOTD announces new Algiers ferry operation hours and Fourth of July holiday schedule

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Utilizing available funding appropriated by the legislature, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announces the new hours of operation for the Algiers Point to Canal Street ferry and the ferry schedule for the Fourth of July holiday. The new schedule best preserves access to transportation options for residents of the New Orleans area.

Beginning Monday, July 1, 2013, the Algiers/Canal ferry will operate Monday-Thursday from 7:15 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., with final trips from Algiers Point at6:15 p.m., and from Canal Street at 6:30 p.m. On Fridays, the vessel will operate from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. with final trips from Algiers Point at 7:45 p.m. and from Canal St. at 8:00 p.m.

On Saturdays, the ferry will operate from 10:45 a.m. to 8:15 p.m., with final trips being made from Algiers Point at 7:45 p.m., and Canal St. at 8 p.m. On Sundays, service will run from 10:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m., with the last trip from Algiers Point at 5:45 p.m., and from Canal St. at 6 p.m.

The Chalmette Ferry, which services the route to and from Lower Algiers, will continue to operate its normal schedule making its last trip from Lower Algiers at 8:30 p.m. and from Chalmette at 8:45 p.m. The Gretna ferry is no longer in service.

For the Fourth of July holiday, DOTD will operate the Algiers/Canal ferry starting at 7:15 a.m. to 10:15 p.m., with final trips from Algiers Point at 9:45 p.m., and from Canal St. at 10 p.m. This schedule will also be in effect for Wednesdays on the Point, a local concert series in Algiers, which has remaining events dates of July 4th, 10th and 17th.

Pedestrians may use the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority’s (RTA) bus service as an alternative route to the east bank. RTA bus routes and schedules can be found at www.norta.com or by calling 504-248-3900.

DOTD will utilize the $830,000 provided by Act 273, along with $700,000 annually for two years provided by Act 274, to continue ferry operations at the Algiers/Canal locations. This $1.5 million provides for the continued ferry service but hours of operations will be closely monitored and may be adjusted based on available funding and ridership levels. Adjusted hours of operations were coordinated with the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (RPC), local legislators and public officials, who relied on peak ridership data and reviewed RTA bus schedule. DOTD will utilize the pedestrian ferry as much as possible at this crossing to improve efficiency.

RTA did not present a transition plan to the state, but has indicated it will present DOTD and RPC a potential transition plan in the fall of 2013. DOTD will continue to work with RPC to provide direction on the future of these local transit services.

More information about the CCCD ferries can be found at www.dotd.louisiana.gov/operations/cccd/. Travelers can follow the ferries on Twitter.com at Canal_Ferry and Chalmette_Ferry.  For traffic information, dial 511 or visit www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).

DOTD announces adjustments to New Orleans ferry service schedule, RTA Agreement Not Reached

NEW ORLEANS – Beginning July 1, 2013, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) will utilize available funding and continue operations of the Chalmette ferry on its current schedule, as well as the Algiers/Canal ferry on an adjusted schedule. Operation of the Gretna ferry will cease as no funding was dedicated to the ferry during the legislative session. The new schedule best preserves access to transportation options for residents of the New Orleans area.

The Algiers/Canal ferry will now run Monday through Friday from 7AM to 7PM, and an approximate 8-hour schedule on Saturday and Sunday as set in coordination with the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (RPC). DOTD will utilize the $830,000 provided by Act 273, along with $700,000 annually for two years provided by Act 274, to continue ferry operations at the Algiers/Canal locations. This $1.5 million provides for the continued ferry service but hours of operations will be closely monitored and may be adjusted based on available funding and ridership levels. Adjusted hours of operations were coordinated with the RPC, local legislators and public officials, who relied on peak ridership data and reviewed RTA’s bus schedule.

Additionally, DOTD will work with local officials including the tourism industry related to the hours of operation on the weekends. The hours of operation will be monitored for a two-month period to evaluate ridership and make adjustments as appropriate. DOTD will utilize the pedestrian ferry as much as possible at this crossing to improve efficiency.

RTA did not present a transition plan to the state, but has indicated it will present DOTD and RPC a potential transition plan in the fall of 2013. DOTD will continue to work with the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (RPC) to provide direction on the future of these local transit services.

DOTD will continue Chalmette ferry service as a state route, which fits into the state transportation model for ferry service. Drivers do not have nearby alternatives to cross the river in this area.

No funds were dedicated to the Gretna ferry service during the legislative session and it does not fit into the state’s ferry service model because alternative routes are available. Gretna ferry service will end June 30, 2013.

For former ferry riders who need additional hours of river-crossing service, RTA’s bus schedule is accessible through its website at http://www.norta.com.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: HB 348

DOTD provides update on toll funds to be transferred to State Treasurer

New Orleans, LA – With House Bill (HB) 348 now signed by Governor Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announces it will transfer approximately $8 million in remaining funds from Crescent City Connection (CCC) GeauxPass toll accounts to the state treasurer. Customers will have until close of business tomorrow, June 14, 2013, to claim CCC deposits, account balances and monies paid to date from DOTD. After that time, customers will be subject to the state treasurer’s refund protocols.

Currently, DOTD officials estimate that approximately $8 million in toll tag deposits, account balances and funds collected between January 1 and March 5, 2013, will be transferred. Customers continue to request refund balances, daily, so the amount to be transferred may change. To date, DOTD has provided more than $360,000 in refunds to over 9,000 individuals.

Per the new law, after Friday, June 14, funds will be considered abandoned as unclaimed property and transferred from DOTD to the treasurer, who will deposit the money into the newly created GeauxPass Transition Fund as administrator of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, and refunded through the state treasurer’s office. CCC will continue to accept any and all refund request in person, by mail, email, and fax, through the end of the day on June 14 and will complete all refund request received by the end of the day on Monday, June 17. Any refund request received after close of business on Friday, June 14 will be forwarded to the state treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Office.

DOTD anticipates transferring all applicable CCC files, funds and unprocessed mail requests by close of business on Monday, July 1, 2013, with Unclaimed Property continuing the refund process thereafter. Additionally, any funds remaining for toll tag deposits for all Geaux Pass accounts with the primary designation of the Crescent City Connection Bridge that have had no activity on Louisiana Highway 1 on or after July 1, 2012, will be transferred to the state treasurer. Once the transfer takes place, former CCC customers will have to contact the Unclaimed Property Office at888-925-4127 or email the office via the following link to request a refund or for further information on its process, http://www.treasury.state.la.us/Home%20Pages/ContactForm.aspx.

Geaux Pass or toll tag customers with their primary designation of the Crescent City Connection Bridge, who would like to maintain an account for use at La. 1 in Lafourche but have not utilized the tag on La. 1 in the past year, need to contact DOTD’s customer service to request that their account be designated as a La. 1 account. After June 14, any funds not claimed by customers or not re-designated as La. 1 accounts will be transferred.

To contact the GeauxPass Customer Service Center, visit www.geauxpass.com,
e-mail customerservice@geauxpass.com or call (866) 662-8987.