BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Bossier Parish is officially on board for a new access gate into Barksdale Air Force Base.
At the most recent Bossier Parish Police Jury meeting, members voted in favor of signing a cooperative agreement with the state of Louisiana through the Department of Transportation to help fund the project.
The project is estimated to cost $90 million with 20 percent coming from local government.
Bossier Parish will spend $3 million, and pay out $250,000 installments over the next 12 years. Bossier City will also spend $3 million and the Northwest Louisiana Council of Government will spend $12 million, paying out annual installments of $1 million over the next 12 years.
The other half of the project will be paid for with GARVEE bonds. These are special bonds that will be repaid using federal funds expected to be generated in the future.
"When this is done, people generations to come will be using it, and at the end of the day its a substantial investment to this region," said Bossier Parish Administrator, William Altimus. "We think it's going to be substantial dividends paid from it."
NCLOG's Executive Director Kent Rogers also believes this is a good investment for the area.
"You can see just since we've gotten the four-star general out there, what the growth has been out in that area," he said. "The investments that are being made in this area because of that, and the more we can support it, the better off we're all going to be."
This project will provide support for over $560 million in Department of Defense investments at Barksdale. Those investments include $500 million for a new weapons storage area, $12.5 million for the gate complex, and $49 million for new personnel support for the weapons storage which includes new dorms and an indoor firing range.
Altimus says the parish has also been in talks with developers looking to add new business and restaurants along the road leading up to the new gate, which will bring more people to the area.
"When you get more people here and they have income, they need a place to live," he said. "They're going to buy a car, they're going to go to schools, they need to purchase food and clothing just like everyone else."
Altimus says around the end of February is when the bid for this contract will be awarded. He says when started the project should take around 18 to 24 months to complete.