Shreveport City Council revisits request for yearlong moratorium on licensing of liquor stores
The 2 council members who proposed the legislation have said they would not agree to less than 12 months
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Shreveport City Council members met at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 12 to again discuss whether or not to ask the Metropolitan Planning Commission to put a moratorium on the issuing of any occupational licenses and certificates of occupancy for new liquor stores, and other retail outlets that sell liquor.
Residents in the North Market Street area previously raised concerns about the number of liquor stores and fast food restaurants near their homes.
Councilwoman Tabatha Taylor and Councilman John Nickelson proposed the resolution encouraging the MPC to put a stop to issuing any new liquor licenses for a year. Other council members disagreed with a blanket moratorium and suggested that the length of any moratorium be limited to six months.
During its most recent meeting, the council initially voted to support a 12-month moratorium, then revisited the ordinance and voted 4-3 to postpone a decision on the issue ordinance.
At Tuesday’s meeting, an amendment was added to shorten the time frame to six months. Taylor and Nickelson originally said that they would not agree to changing the length of the moratorium.
The council unanimously voted to add the amendment. Since the amendment changed the wording of the ordinance, it cannot be voted on for another two weeks.
Also at the meeting, the council was given a first look at what next year’s budget could look like. The city estimates it will have just over $271 million for expenditures next year.
One of the main talking points was a 13% pay increase for the city’s first responders. Just over 48% of the projected 2022 budget is going towards public safety. SPD is looking at a budget increase of over $2.8 million that would find 30 additional officer positions, update computers and equipment, and give officers the 13% pay increase.
CAO Henry Whitehorn said the city has the money for the pay increase this next year, but there isn’t enough money to sustain it.
“We know that in order for us to provide this pay raise, we also have to have reoccurring dollars to do it,” Whitehorn said.
”There’s really two options we have: a millage tax or a public safety fee,” said Councilman Grayson Boucher. “I don’t know what the appetite of the council is, but this is something we are going to have to think about between now and when we pass this budget.”
Mayor Adrian Perkins reminded the council that when a pay increase for police is approved, civil service laws lock the amount voted upon.
“If we are locked in and y’all don’t come up with reoccurring funding, we are going to have to start cutting other city services,” Perkins said.
The Shreveport Fire Department’s budget is decreasing by $2.1 million, but that’s due to an an equipment package allocated in 2021, but not next year.
Despite a decrease in budget, SFD is looking at an annual longevity pay increase and new EMS equipment along with the 13% pay increase for first responders.
Below is the full agenda and supporting documents for this afternoon’s meeting:
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