The 2009 budget adopted last month by the New Orleans City Council appropriates the remaining $309 million allocated to the city in 2007 by the Louisiana Recovery Authority.

The appropriation includes $75 million to prepare the site for the planned new Veterans Affairs hospital in downtown, $25 million to buy a hospital site in eastern New Orleans, $70 million for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority for property acquisitions and blight reduction programs, $30 million for a riverfront park, and $15 million for a performing arts district on Canal Street.

The city wants to create a family-friendly entertainment district around Canal and Rampart streets.

The $411 million in LRA disaster block grants provided a major portion of the $529 million budget for projects approved by the Office of Recovery and Development Administration.

The City Council appropriated $102 million of the LRA money in 2008.

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