Courtesy of WWL .com: Jindal and Nagin cheer decision as massive economic boost Dave Cohen Reporting Louisiana will get nearly $475 million from the feds to replace the Katrina ravaged Charity Hospital. "It's going to be a huge boost to our economy. It's going to be a huge magnet to bring those high paying jobs we need," Governor Bobby Jindal said upon hearing the news. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin stated, "This is probably going to go down in history as one of the biggest economic development deals ever in the city's history." Jindal says the decision from a federal arbitration panel means the joint project between the Veterans Administration and state can move ahead full steam. "Getting this amount of money means we're not going to have to scale back," the governor insisted. "We expect construction to be able to start this year. They expect to be able to complete construction by the end of 2013." "We are getting ready to have a 70 acre biomedical district... with two state of the art teaching hospitals," Nagin said. He added the construction budget alone for the larger medical corridor is huge. "It's going to be at least two billion (in infrastructure), it's probably going to be larger than that." And when the hospitals open, Nagin says it gets even better. "It's thousands of jobs. Average pay is going to be around $95,000 - $98,000. This is huge. This diversifies our economy." Jindal says the impact will continue to grow over time. "This is only the beginning. If you look at what they have done in Houston and Birmingham, they generate hundreds of million dollars per year." He credits the state's congressional delegation for pushing for the creation of the arbitration panel, which unanimously sided with the state. Jindal points out that FEMA wasn't offering anywhere near the amount it would take to repair or replace Charity Hospital. "The offer on their table was $25 million," Jindal said. "We wanted what we were owed." FEMA later valued the damage from Hurricane Katrina at $124 million and offered to settle the matter for $150 million. Jindal says the next step is to appoint members to the board created by the LSU-Tulane agreement. James P. McNamara, who heads the Greater New Orleans Biosciences Economic Development District had a message for the project's critics. "It ends the debate. We now know where the hospital is going to be located," he proclaimed. "It's done. It's finished."