Monday, April 22, 2024

Shreveport Mayor Perkins lays out bond proposal

by BIZ Magazine

The Shreveport City Council overwhelmingly voted Tuesday to support a new $236 million bond proposal by Mayor Adrian Perkins.

The council voted their support 7-0, a sharp contrast from the council members’ concern for a similar bond proposal in 2019.

Perkins’ original bond proposal was for $220 million and was later reduced to $186 million. That bond was brought before voters and narrowly rejected.

“The needs of our citizens far exceed what the City of Shreveport has in its budget. That’s why I’m asking the city council to support the bond that will include five propositions highlighting the more critical needs in our city,” Perkins said.

Perkins noted he held community listening sessions in May and June. Those meetings saw 500 people attend, while a survey on the city’s website saw nearly 1,200 citizens make a priority ranking of four categories for spending the money.

That resulted in the order of public safety, infrastructure, economic development, and technology.

The breakdown of funding for the bond proposal is:

  • $69M for public safety,
  • $20.5M for parks and rec
  • $63.2M for drainage, water, and sewer 
  • $62M for street improvements
  • $22M for broadband installation

Councilman John Nickelson originally opposed Perkins’ 2019 proposal but voiced his support for the 2021 measure. He noted that his original concern was largely due to inadequate input from the council and public, which has been rectified.

“Mayor Perkins has been diligent in his effort to gain the public and council’s input,” Nickelson said. “Changes in leadership have proven important in moving the city forward (and the money will be spent responsibly because of those changes).”

Grayson Boucher said his experience with the city’s financial health showed him that the time is now for the council to support this bond issue. 

“There is no way the City of Shreveport can fiscally build a $24M police station. There is no way we can remodel three fire stations,” Boucher said. 

The council noted there would be more discussion coming on the particular items included in the bond proposal.

A special election will be held Nov. 13 for the proposal.

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