Caddo agrees to put up $500,000 toward Community Lighthouse project

Effort would establish “resiliency hubs” with solar power, emergency water supply
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Caddo commissioners approved an ordinance Thursday (June 8) to help fund a Community Lighthouse pilot program.  It would create disaster hubs people can use during emergencies like power outages.

The ordinance says some Caddo Parish residents lost access to power and water during the blizzards of 2021. With the approval of the ordinance, the nonprofit North Louisiana Interfaith would be able to develop a community lighthouse in Caddo Parish.

[RELATED: Caddo commissioners to further study request for $500,000 for Community Lighthouse project]

“We need to do whatever we can to back those systems up so that if our power does go out and if we have problems with water that we would have a source that we would go to,” District 5 Commissioner Roy Burrell said.

The lighthouses would have solar power, backup battery capacity and an emergency water supply.

Morning Star Baptist Church in Shreveport’s Mooretown neighborhood and the Highland Center, also in Shreveport, would participate in the project’s pilot phase.

The project wants to establish 20 neighborhood-led resiliency hubs.

“This was an opportunity that was brought to us to have the pilot projects for backup water systems for a critical life necessity for our people,” District 4 Commissioner John-Paul Young said.

The Caddo Commission is funding $500,000 for the project, with $250,000 coming from the parish government’s oil and gas fund and the other half coming from American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds.

“I don’t support the $500,000,” District 1 Commissioner Todd A. Hopkins said. “The $250,000 coming from ARP, that’s more palatable to me. I don’t see the return that they see.”

[RELATED: Caddo fails to advance effort to use traffic cameras to crack down on speeders in the parish]