THE EXTENSION IS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IMPERATIVE
As I discussed previously, Cedric Glover recently succeeded in passing yet another tax, this one in the form of an increase in the AEP / SWEPCO franchise fee (related Shreveport Times editorial here). Although a majority of the Council attempted to dedicate the new tax windfall to street repairs – thus denying Glover millions-a-year in slush floating in the general fund – he vetoed the attempt, then led the behind the scenes action to block a Council override of his veto (see related Times article here). This action occurs before so much as one shovel of dirt is turned from the recently passed $175,000,000 bond issue.
Contrary to all irrefutable facts of this matter, Glover sent the following tweet immediately after his victory at the Council meeting:
“Thanks to the Council … and now for the upcoming $100 million road program.”
Local political chat has it that this hyperbole-on-steroids is another sign that Glover’s next campaign is underway, a campaign in which he intends to somehow turn these additional millions of slush into a “road program” that even a city the size of Dallas couldn’t pull off in a decade. (Given that we would be paying Glover his mayoral salary while he runs, conventional wisdom has Glover running next year against Congressman John Fleming.)
If our mayor puts this rich new “road program” to work where the population is – and continues to move rapidly – the Hwy. 3132 Extension will be his top priority. His continuing opposition to the project is, therefore, mind-numbingly wrong-headed.
Here are key facts from just-released 2010 Census data about local population migration within Caddo Parish:
(1) The Caddo Parish population is up only +1.1% since 2000, from 252,161 to 254,969.
(2) Caddo’s population has grown only +1.0% since 1980 (252,358) and +2.6% since 1990 (248,253). Comparatively, our state population is up +7.8% since 1980, and the national population has grown +36.3% since then.
(2) Shreveport’s population in the 2010 Census- 199,311 – is down 6,509, or -3.2%, since 1980. It is down -0.4% since 2000. (3) As shown in the attached Excel sheet prepared for this report, Southeast Shreveport’s zip code area 71115 is the fastest growing area in the parish since 2000, with population growth of +34.1%. (Zip code map here.)
(4) In outlying areas of the parish, double-digit increases since 2000 have occurred in Greenwood’s 71033 area (+35.3%), far southwest Caddo’s 71046 area (+28.5%), the 71107 area which includes Blanchard (+12.0%), the Keithville area’s 71047 (+11.2%), and the 71060 area including Mooringsport (+10.5%).
(5) The largest population losses in outlying areas of the parish since 2000 are 71029’s Gilliam area (-25.8%), 71043’s Hosston area (-23.3%), and 71004’s Belcher area (-11.9%), as well as Bethany’s 71107 area (-14.3%).
(6) Central and West Shreveport populations continue to shrink: greatest losses are in zip code areas 71103 (-25.1%), 71101 (-17.5%), and 71109 (-14.6%).
(7) A more targeted view of the Southeast Shreveport growth story can be seen in Census Tracts. In this Census Bureau map (here) (you may need to give it a moment to load) go to the toolbar at the top, and zoom into this area. While the numbers of these tract areas change over time, the broader Southeast Shreveport & Caddo area in this 2010 map consists of Tracts #238, #239.01, #239.03, #239.04 and #239.05. As you will see, it is basically the area south of 70th Street and east of I-49.
a. In the just-released Census data, this area’s population has grown +34.5% since 1990, from 26,197 to 35,237.
b. Census Tract #240 is the specific area in which the 3132 Extension would be built. That area’s 1990 population of 4,798 has now more than doubled to 10,420 … up +117.2%.
Even if we had no more than these data to back us up, the further development of Southeast Shreveport & Caddo would be our priority. Given the land available for development in the path of the proposed 3132 Extension from Flournoy-Lucas to the Port, most-rapid completion of the 3132 Extension is nothing less than an economic imperative.
That some of our elected and other government officials are actively – and still – working to block this project is a powerful disservice to those who employ and depend on them. That many of these individuals don’t care about their disservice is our challenge. 2000 & 2010 Census, Caddo, by Zip Code
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