Should Shreveport borrow $35 million?

City Council members split on decision

Shreveport council members heatedly debate idea of borrowing $35 million

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Shreveport City Council members postponed their final decision on the mayor’s proposition to borrow $35 million after its original 3-3 vote Tuesday.

Mayor Adrian Perkins said the city is in a good place financially, for now. However, he said he worries how that may change now that the $600 unemployment checks through the CARES Act have expired.

“The receipts have been up, because of a federal unemployment, a UI, has been given to citizens due CARES Act,” Mayor Perkins said. “We know that UI has since expired, so our receipts will likely correlate with that expiration and start to go down.”

Perkins said the money would be emergency money.

“I hope that we can get this executed to give the city some much needed cushion," he said.

James Green, District F, compared the money to a spare tire.

“It’s like a spare tire,” Green explained. “I don’t have a spare tire because I want to have a flat. I have a spare tire just in case I have a flat."

On the other hand, John Nickelson, District C, said he thinks it’s irresponsible to “borrow money to pay today’s bills, and then require future councils or future mayors or future citizens and taxpayers to pay that money back.”

He said the city has never borrowed money that way.

“This city has, from my knowledge…never borrowed large sums of money with the intention of paying them back over a long period of time for current operating expenses," Nickelson said.

He also said he has two alternatives: cut spending or increase taxes.

A financial advisor for the council said the city is hoping to close the deal by the end of November if the proposition is approved.

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