Quantcast

Lessons Learned From Baton Rouge - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Lessons Learned From Baton Rouge

Posted: Updated:
SHREVEPORT, La -

When and how much is the question Shreveporters ask when it comes to raising utility rates to tackle the city's aging water and sewer system. But shreveport isn't the first to experience the wrath of the federal government when it comes to leaky sewers. Our neighbors to the south in baton rouge are already working to comply with a deal they cut with the feds.

Sam Jenkins is a Shreveport City Councilman. He said, "Is what we're raising going to be enough to address the problem, will it be more than enough to address the problem or God forbid it becomes a scenario where instead of needing 350 million, we need more than 600 million to address the problem." That's just one of the questions on everyone's mind as we prepare to tackle the city's aging water and sewer system. Earlier this week, the city council was introduced to the proposed consent decree, or contract, with the U.S. Department of Justice outlining work to be done by the city to get our sewer system in compliance. Right now,  officials estimate we need $350 million dollars to fix all the problems we have. Unfortunately, the cost for all that work is still an estimate. Barbara Featherston is the newly appointed director of water and sewer for the city. She said, "Right now we're still in that assessment phase with our modeling and until we sit down with EPA and figure out how they want our modeling, we really won't know what those costs will be. But we've estimated some costs for capacity improvements as well as the things we already know about that have been in our unfunded list for years."

City officials say, a rate increase over the next 12 years is the only fix for our sewer crisis. David Guillory, Public Works Director for Baton Rouge, agrees that's probably the city's best solution... Before it's too late. "We are on the tail end of a 1.3 billion dollar sewer improvement plan. Right now we have a 4% increase on the user fee, and that's every year. It's in perpetuity right now. It just increases 4% every year." Guillory says the capital city has had the federal government breathing down its neck for years, all because of similar problems we're seeing here in Shreveport regularly, sewer leaks spilling into streets, yards and sometimes buildings. Sewage can also seep into the storm drain system, sending untreated human waste into the Red River.

Guillory said, "That's kind of what happened to us. The number of Sanitary Sewer Overflows or SSO's reached a level where it was time for us to do significant investment into our sewer system." But if Shreveport wants to catch up with its sewer  issues, before the city is drowning in fines and increasingly higher repair costs. Guillory says it's time to take action and raise rates, considering that Baton Rouge's estimated repair costs of $600 million dollars 11 years ago has more than doubled to $1.3 billion dollars. Guillory offered, "Sewer is not usually considered an issue, unless it's backing up into your house. And it makes it a little harder to raise rates or implement taxes to fund capital construction that people really don't see."

The city council can't vote on authorizing Mayor Glover to sign the consent decree with the federal government until its next meeting on August 13th. However, on August 1st, a public comment meeting will take up the issue of the utility rate increase. Some council members have been pushing back on the increase, concerned about the impact on low income users as well as possible impact on commercial and industrial users. Looking again at Baton Rouge, that city not only raised rates but property taxes to spread out the cost. The city of Shreveport has had 1100  SSO's or sanitary system overflows since 2009. The federal government fines each SSO at $37,500 dollars per overflow per day. This year alone, city crews have responded to nearly 50 overflows.

 

  • News NowMore>>

  • Water Main break causes delayed start at Queen City ISD

    Water Main break causes delayed start at Queen City ISD

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:29 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:29:45 GMT
    A water line break is too blame for a late start at Queen City, Texas ISD.
    A water line break is too blame for a late start at Queen City, Texas ISD.
  • La. House says dogs in truck beds should be secure

    La. House says dogs in truck beds should be secure

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:56 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:56:20 GMT
    Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House. The House voted 53-34 Tuesday to pass the proposal by Republican Rep. Thomas Willmott, of Kenner. Drivers could secure dogs with a crate, leash or a ventilated bed cover, under the bill. Willmott has proposed similar bills before, but they failed to garner enough support. He says he continues to push the issue to promote humane treatment of pets and public ...
    Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House. The House voted 53-34 Tuesday to pass the proposal by Republican Rep. Thomas Willmott, of Kenner. Drivers could secure dogs with a crate, leash or a ventilated bed cover, under the bill. Willmott has proposed similar bills before, but they failed to garner enough support. He says he continues to push the issue to promote humane treatment of pets and public ...
  • FBI investigates suspected serial child molester

    FBI investigates suspected serial child molester

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:54 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:54:02 GMT
    The FBI is asking for help to identify at least 90 victims of a suspected serial child predator who worked in American schools worldwide for four decades. The suspect, 64-year-old William James Vahey, killed himself in Luverne, Minn., on March 21. FBI agents in Houston filed for a warrant March 19 to search a computer thumb drive that belonged to Vahey, a U.S. citizen. An employee of an American school in Nicaragua where Vahey had recently taught ninth-grade world history and geography gave ...
    The FBI is asking for help to identify at least 90 victims of a suspected serial child predator who worked in American schools worldwide for four decades. The suspect, 64-year-old William James Vahey, killed himself in Luverne, Minn., on March 21. FBI agents in Houston filed for a warrant March 19 to search a computer thumb drive that belonged to Vahey, a U.S. citizen. An employee of an American school in Nicaragua where Vahey had recently taught ninth-grade world history and geography gave ...
  • ArkLaTex SlideshowsMore>>

  • ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:50 PM EDT2014-04-21 00:50:49 GMT
    There are lots of animals in the ArkLaTex who are looking for that perfect home.
    There are lots of animals in the ArkLaTex who are looking for that perfect home.
  • Easter Bunnies

    Easter Bunnies

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:26 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:26:06 GMT
    Thank you to all of our viewers who sent us pictures of your little Easter bunnies.
    Thank you to all of our viewers who sent us pictures of your little Easter bunnies.
  • Celebrate Education 2014

    Celebrate Education 2014

    Thursday, April 17 2014 3:30 PM EDT2014-04-17 19:30:00 GMT
    Community Projects Director Jan Elkins with donors for the KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home.
    CELEBRATE EDUCATION, and it begins next week at the Shreveport Convention Center.
  • Assignment EducationMore>>

  • Make way for changes in Caddo schools

    Make way for changes in Caddo schools

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-04-22 15:53:02 GMT
    Dr. Lamar GoreeDr. Lamar Goree
    Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree unveiled the "Reimagine Our Schools" Campaign Tuesday morning.
    Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree unveiled the "Reimagine Our Schools" Campaign Tuesday morning.
  • Gov. Beebe, sculptor to receive honorary degrees

    Gov. Beebe, sculptor to receive honorary degrees

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 5:24 AM EDT2014-04-22 09:24:22 GMT
    Gov. Mike Beebe and sculptor Anita Huffington will be presented honorary degrees from the University of Arkansas during the university's May 10 commencement ceremony.
    Gov. Mike Beebe and sculptor Anita Huffington will be presented honorary degrees from the University of Arkansas during the university's May 10 commencement ceremony.
  • Caddo superintendent addresses Fair Park principal change

    Caddo superintendent addresses Fair Park principal change

    Monday, April 21 2014 11:21 PM EDT2014-04-22 03:21:37 GMT
    Caddo Superintendent Goree addresses concerned Fair Park High parentsCaddo Superintendent Goree addresses concerned Fair Park High parents
    Caddo Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree spent about an hour taking questions at Fair Park High Monday evening, nearly all of which centered on the decision to replace Principal James Outley.
    Caddo Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree spent about an hour taking questions at Fair Park High Monday evening, nearly all of which centered on the decision to replace Principal James Outley.
  • NationalMore>>

  • APNewsBreak: Clemency after 10 years in prison?

    APNewsBreak: Clemency after 10 years in prison?

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:14 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:14:58 GMT
    The Justice Department will begin considering clemency applications from nonviolent federal inmates who have already served 10 years or more in prison.
    The Justice Department will begin considering clemency applications from nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars,...
  • Judge to mull Chelsea Manning name change request

    Judge to mull Chelsea Manning name change request

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:06 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:06:48 GMT
    A Kansas judge has scheduled a hearing to consider Army Pfc. Chelsea Manning's petition to legally change her name from Bradley Manning.
    A Kansas judge will on Wednesday consider Army Pfc. Chelsea Manning's petition to legally change her name from Bradley, as she serves a 35-year sentence for passing classified U.S. government information to the...
  • APNewsBreak: Gacy case helps solve unrelated death

    APNewsBreak: Gacy case helps solve unrelated death

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:34 AM EDT2014-04-23 11:34:45 GMT
    Four decades after John Wayne Gacy lured more than 30 young men and boys to his Chicago-area home and strangled them, his case has helped authorities solve another killing - one he didn't commit.
    Four decades after John Wayne Gacy lured more than 30 young men and boys to his Chicago-area home and strangled them, his case has helped authorities solve another killing - one he didn't commit.
  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Happy 9th birthday to YouTube!

    Happy 9th birthday to YouTube!

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:38 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:38:13 GMT
    "Alright, so here we are, in front of the elephants..."  And that's how the revolution began nine years ago today.
    "Alright, so here we are, in front of the elephants..."  And that's how the revolution began nine years ago today.
  • Water Main break causes delayed start at Queen City ISD

    Water Main break causes delayed start at Queen City ISD

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:29 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:29:45 GMT
    A water line break is too blame for a late start at Queen City, Texas ISD.
    A water line break is too blame for a late start at Queen City, Texas ISD.
  • La. House says dogs in truck beds should be secure

    La. House says dogs in truck beds should be secure

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:56 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:56:20 GMT
    Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House. The House voted 53-34 Tuesday to pass the proposal by Republican Rep. Thomas Willmott, of Kenner. Drivers could secure dogs with a crate, leash or a ventilated bed cover, under the bill. Willmott has proposed similar bills before, but they failed to garner enough support. He says he continues to push the issue to promote humane treatment of pets and public ...
    Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House. The House voted 53-34 Tuesday to pass the proposal by Republican Rep. Thomas Willmott, of Kenner. Drivers could secure dogs with a crate, leash or a ventilated bed cover, under the bill. Willmott has proposed similar bills before, but they failed to garner enough support. He says he continues to push the issue to promote humane treatment of pets and public ...
Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File