Covering Louisiana

Jan 10, 2013 3:50 PM by AP

New councilman withdraws Katrina tour fee proposal

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A newly-elected New Orleans city councilman, whose district includes the Lower 9th Ward, has withdrawn a package of ordinances that would have required tour buses to pay special fees to access the neighborhood.

Councilman James Gray, who took office last month, says he needs more time to research the issue introduced by his predecessor.

Currently, the city has an ordinance in place that bans tour buses from the Lower 9th Ward. It was passed after Hurricane Katrina to keep tour buses from impeding cleanup and recovery efforts when levees failed during the 2005 storm.

The tours were popular with tourists wanting an up-close look at actor Brad Pitt's rebuilding effort and the home of Fats Domino, but tours halted this past summer when buses were being stopped and ticketed.

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