Keep Bossier Beautiful loses funding

By Brittany Pieper – email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – While working on the 2011 budget, the Bossier City Council asked several organizations to make presentations on how they spend their money. Most groups will receive the same funding from the city as this past year, but the council decided to completely cut Keep Bossier Beautiful out of the budget.

In 2010 the city gave the group $46,000. In 2011, they'll receive nothing.

Keep Bossier Beautiful's President, Tom Lawson, says he was shocked when he found out the city wanted to cut their funding.

"In the last 3 years we've cleaned up 3 city parks. We put picnic tables at a park over by Bossier High School," said Lawson.

With the cuts, the group's Executive Director will lose her job. The city will also have to take on many of their projects, like coordinating community service hours and clean-ups. The council said the city already does some of Keep Bossier Beautiful's work. One of the council's biggest issues with the organization were the welcome signs on the highways that should have been Keep Bossier Beautiful's responsibility. Council members said the flags were so tattered and the sign on I-220 so poorly kept that the city paid to fix them.

"For the flags to be presented in such disrepair for such a long length of time. I couldn't connect the dots to keeping Bossier Beautiful on that thing," said councilman David Jones.

Keep Bossier Beautiful will continue on a volunteer basis, focusing on education programs in Bossier schools. They'll try to help where they can, but with no more city funding their resources are very limited.

"They'll still have our support. It's just, we're not going to be able to put the effort in that we were able when we had a full time director," said Lawson.

One other group saw a cut compared to last year. Barksdale Forward will receive $65,000 in 2011, which is $10,000 less then the group received in 2010.

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