SHREVEPORT CITY COUNCIL- Shreveport’s City Council members met yesterday to consider a $186 Million Dollar Bond Proposal. The original proposal was set at $220 million as the outcome of the Citizen’s Bond Committee but after much discussion, the council amended it by $34 million. Among items earmarked in the proposal included replacing old fire engines, building new fire stations and a new police station as well as numerous infrastructure projects and overall upkeep. According to Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, the proposal wouldn’t raise taxes but rather be a continuation of the 6.2 mills dedicated to expiring general obligation bonds and would address shrinking property taxes which the Mayor explained recently in an Op-Ed to the Shreveport Times.
One idea brought up was to take the old Centerpoint Energy Building downtown and renovate it to replace the current Shreveport Police Department. Currently the 200,000 square foot building that sits across from the Caddo Parish Courthouse comes with a $2 million price tag which council members pointed out that it would be far cheaper than the proposed $20 million in costs for a new police station. But Councilwoman LeVette Fuller observed that by doing so, the council would be affecting property tax revenues by removing a building from the tax rolls in her district.
"But that is the one thing that concerns me," explained Fuller. "It does take a significant piece of real estate off of the tax rolls if we make it a government building."
The Shreveport City Council will decide whether to call an election for voters to decide on the bond proposal in November. There previously had been talk of pushing the vote into the spring of 2020. The revised bond proposal has been divided into three areas: $32 Million for Water, $76 Million for Public Safety, and $78 Million for Streets and Drainage. Left out of this proposal was Mayor Perkins’ $7 Million dollars for Smart-Cities Technology Project, Economic Development and Special Projects for Housing.