In local development news:

Moody’s released a new report on New Orleans’ financial status, reporting that although the post-Katrina recovery has been strong, the city’s balance sheet remains vulnerable. According to a NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune analysis, population increases and subsequent improved revenue have resulted in a substantial increase in the city’s general fund reserves to $42.9 million. New Orleans had posted negative fund balances for four years until 2013. Moody’s credits the improved financial position on a combination of rising sales taxes and a disciplined approach to discretionary spending by Mayor Mitch Landrieu. However, the city stands to take a substantial hit due to the $75 million judgment it has been ordered to pay firefighters in missing back pay, plus an additional $34 million+ in further legal debts to successful plaintiffs. Neither of these liabilities are mentioned in the report, according to the same NOLA.com analysis.

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