The Baton Rouge sewer system issues parallel those of Shreveport, and the sooner Shreveport realizes the danger of the situation and the impending consent decree, the better off citizens may find themselves.
The recent Shreveport bond passage was designed to address some of Shreveport issues and keep citizens from the burden of taxation Baton Rouge is currently facing. These issues are far more pressing than a dog park.
From the Baton Rouge story:
- When drawn up 11 years ago, Baton Rouge’s sewer rehabilitation program had an estimated price tag of $618 million and was scheduled to be done by Dec. 31, 2014. Since then, the cost has more than doubled and the deadline for the work is being extended.
- The sewer rehabilitation, known as the Sanitary Sewer Overflow program, is the largest and most expensive capital project in city-parish history. Baton Rouge residents are footing the bill with a combination of sales taxes and sewer fees — the latter of which average $500 a year annually for homeowners and rise every year.
- The working price tag now for the rehabilitation is $1.455 billion, but the true cost to taxpayers is $2.9 billion once the $137 million for program management firm CH2M Hill and $1.3 billion in interest payments over 35 years for the bonds are factored in.