Shreveport City Council Considers $186 Million Bond Issue

Aug 13, 2019

$76 MILLION FOR PUBLIC SAFETY - A new city police headquarters is among the priorities being considered in the Shreveport bond proposal to be put before voters.
Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

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.                                     

Shreveport City Council Meeting - August 12, 2019
Credit Courtesy: City of Shreveport YouTube Channel

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.