Jimmy’s Cornerby Jimmy Couvillion
No, this is not a tale about a Shreveport Mafia operation. It is a story on decayed sewer and water pipes and lumpy streets. All of this has been given the name “Infrastructure”. In Shreveport’s case it is dying decayed “old pipes”, roads, bridges and poorly maintained city drainage facilities that can’t take it any more. We can add Cross Lake and water treatment lacking capacity. Some may say that kicking the can down the road for the next administration has run its course. It’s time for the can to kick back. Well, not so fast. Shreveport is almost tapped out on funds to borrow and its doubtful in the short or long term things will get better. No one in elected office is jumping up to take up the baton for underground revitalization. Put some pocket change on a few streets to impress the voters and add on more fines for front yard car parking is the focus.
Shreveport is big on master plans, and says it wishes to plan its future. Spent a lot of money on the plan, but leaves no doubt, from looking at the budget, on its lack of priority for that plan and such leadership can’t seen to grasp the importance of the city’s failure to address human needs. In the 2011 year end report featured (here) you will learn more than what you want to know about Shreveport failing to come close, to reaching the bar. The bar is a line of annual expenditures necessary to maintain our infrastructure. This report is presented each year to the Mayor and City Council on Shreveport’s lack of funding its own infrastructure. Written and reported to Council each year and put aside, placed on the shelf, for the next year’s budget, next mayor or city council. The report is never hidden from the public, but it is well known that the public will not take the time or express enough interest to find and read reports published on its own City of Shreveport website.
What is underground, will stay there. Water lines will continue to blow-out and get patches at prices at least twice the cost to complete replacement cost. Justice Department may come to town, but maximizing debt by borrowing all you can to put taxpayer money on top of the ground, spreading a little bond money around to police and fire, so it can be seen and preparing to tell the Justice Department we are all tapped out, can’t fix and control overflow from leaky sewer mains into the Red River, is the plan.
City Council is going to Divvy-up some street funds between their seven city council districts. All voted for than except Michael Corbin, who wants a study plan. Can’t wait to see them have to make the same divvies with water and sewer pipe replacements. It will be an engineering and design nightmare, but a long time coming because the city’s pockets are empty. Read the report to see how much money it would have taken to even get half way caught-up.