BENTON, La. -- Bossier Parish Police Jury members agreed Wednesday to commit $50,000 as the parish’s share for participating in a feasibility study that could eventually result in a navigable Red River north into Arkansas and more controllable water levels to help prevent flooding.
Parish Administrator Bill Altimus, parish engineer Butch Ford and other staff members attended a meeting this week where the possibility of providing access to the north by adding new lock and dam systems to the north of the Interstate 220 bridge over the Red River.
“Arkansas has long been interested in this for their own reasons and the state has been raising money on their own for Red River navigation into their state,” Altimus reported. “In the past the cost-benefit ratio hasn’t been favorable, but now the ratio is feasible.”
Altimus said officials at the meeting, which included those from Arkansas and the U.S. Corps of Engineers, have devised a plan for a $3 million study that can be approved and accepted by the Corps.
“Arkansas has agreed to put up half the money and to spend their money first,” he said. “They’re asking for commitments from local entities in this area to come up with the rest. Our share would be $50,000 but we would not have to come up with that until 2021.”
Others that will be asked to participate include Bossier City, Caddo Parish, Shreveport, the Red River Waterway Commission and the various levee boards in the area.
Altimus also pointed out that if the feasibility study runs more than the anticipated $3 million, Arkansas has agreed to pick up the difference. If the cost is less, the entities that participate will receive a prorated share of the difference.
Ford said construction of lock and dam systems on the northern stretch of the Red could go a long way toward controlling water levels that have been problems in the past.
“Since 2015 we’ve been trying to figure a way to fix the situation and a lock and dam would solve our problems,” he said. “Dredging won’t solve it because the river will silt in again. We won’t know the impact until the study is finished.”
In other business at Wednesday’s meeting, jury members:
- Approved plat of the proposed development of Padgett Place subdivision.
- Scheduled a public hearing on Dec. 18 to consider approval of the minor plat for Landon Holloway.
- Scheduled a public hearing on Dec. 18 to consider approval of the plat of the proposed development of Woodlake subdivision, Unit No. 1-B, being a replat of Lots 52, 53 and 54, Woodlake subdivision, Unit No. 1.
- Scheduled a public hearing on Dec. 18 to consider approval of the application of Jonathan Burks to the Benton-Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission for a zoning amendment to change the zoning classification of a certain tract of land being about one-third of an acre, more or less, located at 534 Highway 162.
- During a property standards review, granted a 30-day extension on property located at 502 Wildlife Lane in Bossier City and agreed to move to condemnation hearings on five separate parcels.
- Approved applications for renewal of Bossier Parish beer/liquor licenses for 2020, approved by the sheriff and the health department.
- Ratified adoption of a joint proclamation with the Caddo Parish Commission, the City of Shreveport, andBossier City proclaiming the week of Nov. 4-11.
- Appointed Wanda Bennett to Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau’s board for a three-year term, effective Jan. 1, term to expire Dec. 31, 2022.
- Okayed proposal of Robert L. Russell, MAI, for appraisal review services for Linton Road bridge over Black Bayou Reservoir project.
- Approved final plan change order for the second phase of the Kingston Road widening project.
- Approved a cooperative endeavor agreement by and between the Bossier Parish and Bossier City in connection with the improvements at the interchange of Swan Lake Road at I-220.
- Approved a request for a variance of parish regulations to allow a home to be built below the road surface level at 1120 Highway 614 in Haughton.