September 5, 2006 at 7:41 PM CDT - Updated July 10 at 10:17 PM
2. Shreveport faces infrastructure improvement needs totaling nearly $1 billion, some $300 million in water and sewerage infrastructure repair and replacement alone. Where will the money come from to fix it? (Will you raise taxes?)
Arlena Acree The $ 1 billion is a huge wish list and is doesn't have to be done all at one time. Our city's water system has evolved from our first water source, Cross Bayou to cisterns and now Cross Lake. We are selling about the same amount of water as we have 20 years ago due to technology. We currently have dedicated funds to water and sewerage, which includes $75 million in revenue bonds and a $70 million loan from the state. We are spending the next 3 years $32.4 million on revitalizing the Amiss water plant, which will be like brand new. For the next 5 years we have approximately $100 million left. If we have another general obligation bond election, we must have up to the limit of the bonding that does not increase our property taxes. The citizens will have to decide what their priorities are if there is another bond election.
Madjun Ali Phase II Project: A. "Creative Means" of Ways and Means Committee will go to Plan A options to create ways to make money to pay for infrastructure repairs...at no cost to the citizens. This mayor is going to run the city of Shreveport as if it were the Microsoft Corporation. B. No. There is no need to raise taxes. Bill Gates' method is to just keep inventing new and better products and markets, and he is the richest man in America.
Ed Bradley Through my City Center Plan, it is my hope that we can begin to grow our city and create enough revenue in order to successfully service the debt. It is irresponsible for any leader to pledge "no taxes" in face of the important issues facing our city in the coming decade.
Henry Hodge-Bey No!
Max Malone No raising taxes. Money will come from the General Budget and the Water Department.
Liz Swaine Please see my response to question #1 on the raising taxes question. That $1 billion number is the cumulative total of a city "wish list" of items over a 20-to-50 year period, so we have a little time to deal with them. However, it's urgent that we allocate money each and every year (and not just over the next four or eight years) to deal with our pressing infrastructure issues. First on the list should be water and sewer mains in neighborhoods that are breaking at an alarming rate (some of these pipes are 50 years old) and ensuring that all neighborhoods have adequate water pressure.