SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -
Shreveport's growing but maybe not the way you think. The population remains a bit static but the city of shreveport is spreading out and growing geographically. Near the Provenance retail area on Southern Loop, the company, Provenance is building more retail space. Further southeast is a residential development and both of the properties are looking to be added to the Shreveport city limits allowing for more homes and businesses in the city limits. However, some say the move just rewards sprawl.
"If you look at Shreveport Bossier together, where is 99% of the activity? It's Southeast Shreveport and North Bossier." City councilman Michael Corbin represents southeast Shreveport and says annexing these businesses and homes into the city provides much needed tax revenue, and serves the people that live or want to move to the area. "Are we filling up the core of the city by doing this? No, we're not. But there are plenty of gaps down in Southeast Shreveport where certain properties have been annexed and some haven't so this gives us an opportunity to go and fill in some of those."
"We had problems with the quality and the level and pressure of our water service out in that area." Mayor Glover says, that's why they built a new $26 million dollar water tower to service that area of the city in 2007. He says now we need to get a better handle on the areas that are surrounded with city development and go in and fill in the blanks. "While at the same time, per suing an aggressive agenda that allows us to be able to come back and reclaim, rebuild and regrow the inner-center portions of the city at the same time." Corbin concludes, "A lot of what this growth is or what these annexations would be, is filling in pieces from the southern-most part of the city back in."
City officials will hold a public hearing on the two annexation proposals at their next city council meeting. They invite the public out to voice their thoughts and concerns.
The Master Planning Committee weighed in on the annexation proposal and says it advises the proposal be re-examined because they say, annexation serves "...As the primary reason for escalating costs and declining levels of service, the deteriorating condition of the city's infrastructure, inner city decline and sprawling development patterns."