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FIRST ON KSLA: Read the report to see if Shreveport can break from the MPC, create its own

Shreveport Councilman James Flurry thinks the city could save money by severing its ties with the Shreveport-Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission. (Source: KSLA News 12) Shreveport Councilman James Flurry thinks the city could save money by severing its ties with the Shreveport-Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission. (Source: KSLA News 12)
(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA) (Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)
(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA) (Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Can the city of Shreveport bow out of the Shreveport-Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission?

Such a move would clear the way for Shreveport to create its own planning and zoning commission. 

Shreveport's Audit and Finance Committee got their first look at the study from city attorney William Bradford on this Monday, October 9.

His task was to find out if leaving the MPC is even an option. The short answer is yes it is an option for the full city council to consider.

But will they? That's the question that remains unanswered for now.

"The city of Shreveport has the prerogative to create an internal planning, zoning and development department," explained Bradford at the audit and finance meeting and its six council members who gathered in council chambers at Government Plaza downtown.

But it's council chairman James Flurry who later explained why Shreveport should create its own planning and zoning department.

"It's gonna save money because we're going to put it under the guidance of the CAO. And we're going to cut all that expenditures and all that lavish spending," explained Flurry.

A recent KSLA investigation showed the MPC spent more than $85,000 on office equipment and more than $66,000 on travel from 2014-to-2016. 

For his part, MPC Executive Director Mark Sweeney announced that their study will be officially released on Thursday, October 12.

Sweeney told us the study recommends a new cost-sharing formula to lower the city's portion from 83 to 75 percent, and therefore raise Caddo Parish's share to 25-percent.

Sweeney added that he's cautiously optimistic the city won't leave the MPC. "Number one, it won't be a cost-saving. Number two, from efficiency purpose and from a planning perspective keeping the MPC together the way it is makes sense."

Sweeney said that's because the MPC is an objective, evenly-split board from the city and parish. 

but some observers, like recently retired attorney John Settle have their own predictions. "Bottom line when the dust settles, I think and hope that the city sets up a(n) internal planning office."

We've already heard about the city's study and the MPC's study. But they're not alone.

Not to be outdone, last week Caddo Parish commissioners asked for their own study to get another opinion on what they should contribute to the MPC budget.

Click here to read the report on whether Shreveport can break from the MPC and create its own planning board.

Related: Shreveport official wants city to opt out of the city-parish MPC

District E Councilman James Flurry has recently stated that he thinks the move could save the city about $400,000 and minimize complaints from residents and business owners. 

Click here to read his resolution.

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