Do We Really Need All the Projects in the Bond Issue?
Are there some things in the Shreveport bond issue that we can do without? I would say yes. And I hope we rethink our priorities.
For many years, I have lived by the philosophy of trying to only buy things I need and not get into the trap of buying things "I want". This philosophy has served me well and will be one of the reasons I won't be a burden to my children later in life.
What does our city really NEED? We must fix our roads and water and sewer problems. There is no doubt we have equipment needs in the fire department. We also need to improve our police station. Do we have to have police substations? I'm not so sure I buy that idea. I also put together a list of some of the other items in the bond issue I don't think are NEEDS right now.
Sportran Transit Shelter Project
Projected Cost: $1.375M
Citywide Parking Lot Overlays
Projected Cost: $635,000
Fairgrounds Field Demolition
Projected Cost: $1M
Ben Riggs, the Mayor's Communications Manager talks with us about these issues.
The other big questions I have about this bond issue have to deal with the big bulk dollars that don't have any specific projects listed. Here are some examples of that from the city's website:
MLK Area-Wide Roadway Improvements
Projected Amount: $10.4M
We don't know which roads or drainage projects will be done. Could districts be left out for any number of reasons. The same is true for the following categories:
Citywide Drainage Improvements
Projected Cost: $10M
Citywide Roadway Improvements (streets, bridges, traffic signals)
Project Cost: $33.96M
Shreveport Parks, Recreation, Public Bldgs
Projected Cost: $4M
After personnel expenses and utility costs for public buildings are deducted, SPAR has about $3 million remaining for building maintenance, park management, rec center programming, and swimming pool costs. This project funds repairs and renovations at city properties, like the roof at Ford Park and interior renovations at the Public Works complex.