Shreveport, Caddo Parish leaders host joint meeting on planning commission's future

Published: Jun. 1, 2018 at 2:31 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2018 at 9:42 PM CDT
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CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The Shreveport City Council, Caddo Parish Commissioners and the Shreveport-Caddo Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission are meeting to discuss the city's future as part of the commission Friday.

Master Plan Committee members will meet for a presentation of the MPC financial sustainability study, to discuss the city and parish participation on the board and to propose the next steps and time from for the future of the committee.

New Construction is the key to growth for any city and it's something that some, like Dana Cawthon with the Small Business Development Center, said the MPC may be preventing.

She works with various small businesses seeking to start or grow in the Shreveport Metro area but says they're battling challenges.

"And that is getting across the Red Tape of getting things approved for development. So we really are struggling to get those projects funded in a timely manner because of the processes through the MPC," said Cawthon.

She spoke at the joint meeting and said the red tape causes delays for the businesses to start.

"For those individuals time is money, so the long drawn out process of just developing that property in order to locate a business in that area means jobs lost, opportunities lost for the city."

The meeting opened the floor to people like Cawthon to express their concerns. Which is something that MPC Master Planning Committee Chair and Shreveport Councilman Jeff Everson says is important.

"It takes this kind of discussion to really be able to move forward and I hope that we're able to continue it. I think this was a good opening discussion and certainly look forward to some productive things coming from this."

The master planning committee MPC says they're going to take what they heard today, meet in about 45 days and hopefully make changes.

This meeting comes after Shreveport City Council members voted to look into detaching the city of Shreveport from the Shreveport-Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission.

But Councilman Willie Bradford spoke up and said it's a bad idea.

"If you notice that even in the city we have departments that are not as effective as they should be now. And to bring on another responsibility, which would be a huge responsibility, I think would be unwise," said Bradford.

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