Home Authors Posts by David Specht

David Specht


0 453

RandyThis has been one of the wettest springs in our history — especially over the last three weeks. Cloudy and wet days (and nights) have been holding temperatures down (for the most part). In contrast, both our springs and summers in recent years have been dryer and warmer than normal.

During the month of May in 2015, Bossier City received almost 10 inches of rain (against a normal average May rainfall of almost 5 inches). Upstream on the Red River, parts of Northeast Texas and Southern Oklahoma received all-time record amounts of rainfall during the month of May, which has brought the Red River in Bossier City/Shreveport to flood stage (the likes of which we have not seen since 1990 when the Red River crested at 35 ft. (5 ft. above flood stage). Before 1990, the Red River had not been above flood stage since April of 1945 when it crested at 38.3 ft.

Though the Red River has caused flooding problems and other seemingly negative situations over the years, the river has always played a major positive role in the development of Bossier City/Shreveport. It would probably be accurate to say neither Bossier City or Shreveport would even be here today if it were not for the Red River.
In the opinion of many people, the Red River should be the Louisiana/Texas state line, with Shreveport in Texas and Bossier City in Louisiana. I have heard this for most my life. Personally, I am glad that this is not the case and I love the fact that both Bossier City and Shreveport are in the state of Louisiana and are also the twin cities we know them as today.

With the lock and dam system put in place on the Red River over the last few decades, our river is now navigable all the way down to the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge. As such, the river has become a recreational area for boating, skiing, fishing, etc. The Bassmaster Classics hosted on the Red River both in 2009 and 2012 (and other fishing and water related events) have been a huge economic boom for our area. Also barge traffic is fairly heavy both importing and exporting goods from the Port of Shreveport Bossier. With the soon-to-open Benteler Steel and several other positive growth opportunities taking place at our port, tremendous growth is projected in the years to come. The Red River is a tremendous asset and growth component for our future.

Current forecasts call for the Red River to crest in Bossier City/Shreveport Thursday at 34ft. (4ft.above flood stage). So, even though this is not a record flood, it is going to cause some problems for us all. There are already some road/street closures and there may be more.

As was reported on our BPT Online website over the weekend (and also reported by other local media outlets), the Bossier Sheriff’s substation on the Red River is preparing to close until the Red River subsides. Personnel from this substation will be dispersed to other locations until the substation on the river reopens.

Bossier Parish inmates were used to assist with sandbagging around the perimeter of the substation over the weekend — placing sandbags at the location. By doing this so early, Bossier Sheriff’s Department officials say that they will now have the substation secured and as such, will be in an even better position to help parish residents when the Red River crests on Thursday..without having to worry about the substation too (at the same time).

I applaud our Sheriff and his staff for such forward thinking in their commitment to serve the residents of Bossier Parish! I also applaud all of our other Bossier Parish officials and city governmental bodies for their efforts and planning related to the Red River flood that we are experiencing.

I have been watching the Red River along the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway for the last week or so. The water has risen quickly and is sure to rise even more. It is clearly evident that we are seeing things completely submerged that we have never seen underwater before. Also, there is a huge number of people fishing practically off of the shoulder of the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway. What an amazing sight it is.

To the residents of Bossier Parish and our area, I hope that you all stay safe and protected from the high water levels of the Red River in the days ahead. Protecting both our homes and our property is vitally important to us all.

Please stay safe. Be sure to call for help and assistance, if you need it. We have a great network of trained emergency professionals and law enforcement personnel that can provide assistance when needed. So, call on them. May God be with us all and protect our lives, homes and property both now and in the days to come.

Randy Brown is Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at rbrown@bossierpress.com

0 289

carlson-martyIt’s not often that a previously failed bill gets a speedy second chance to pass voter muster, but this year Bossier Parish voters will have another opportunity to consider approving an increase in the Caddo and Bossier Parishes hotel occupancy tax. Last November, the “no” votes cast by Bossier Parish voters were enough to defeat the tax increase the two-parish election.

A similar proposal was sponsored in the current legislative session by Rep. Alan Seabaugh; House Bill 216 has passed initial muster in the House on a 85-0 vote, passed the Senate on a 36-0 vote, and has been returned to the House and scheduled for floor debate today, June 3. It’s a safe bet that this proposition again will be before Caddo and Bossier Parish voters on this fall’s ballot.

The current proposal would increase the hotel occupancy tax from the current 4.5 percent to 6 percent – which is levied and collected by the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourism Bureau. The additional 1.5 percent collected would be divided evenly between the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, the Independence Bowl, and the Ark-La-Tex Regional Air Service Alliance.

According to the Legislative Auditor’s fiscal note regarding the bill, revenue derived by increasing the occupancy tax could generate an additional $860,327 starting with the 2015-16 fiscal year, and approximately $1.7 annually thereafter. And the impact of these new dollars to the target organizations would be to the benefit of both the Caddo and Bossier communities.

This proposition to increase the hotel occupancy tax to provide additional revenue to these three organizations, which contribute heavily to the local economy, should not be a difficult decision for voters. But, given last year’s outcome, and expecting that HB 216 will manifest to a fall ballot item, over the next few months this column will feature in-depth reviews of the work of all three of the entities that would benefit from the tax increase.

In the meantime, a few points for consideration by doubting voters.

First, my husband and I returned last week from our spring vacation. We stayed in hotel/motels/condos from Mississippi to Georgia to Tennessee. And the week before our vacation, we were in a hotel in Gonzales, Louisiana.

The bills for every one of these lodging facilities include an “occupancy tax” of between 2 percent and 8 percent. A little research on the subject found that occupancy taxes, sometimes called excise taxes, are quite common and are levied for a variety of purposes. In Meridian, MS, for example, the 2.5 percent occupancy tax funds the salaries and activities of the Lauderdale Tourism Department. In Tupelo, MS, the same tax is identified as a “Convention and Tourism Promotion Tax.” Alternatively, some localities use their occupancy tax revenues to fund municipal capital improvements – but there was no exception in our travels – every hotel bill reflected an occupancy tax.

There was also no exception about who paid this tax: visitors to the area. Local residents do not pay this tax.

Instead local residents benefit from the proceeds of the tax through the work of tourism officials and Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, the Independence Bowl, and the Ark-La-Tex Regional Air Service Alliance. That work produces revenues for our local retail and restaurant outlets, increased employment opportunities for our residents and, importantly, sales tax revenues that we do not pay, but which local governments leverage to our advantage in capital improvements and services.

Bottom line: If we want to enjoy the benefit of such increased opportunities and advantages, a “yes” vote gets us there. In the coming weeks, look for more reasons to vote affirmatively on this important issue.

Marty Carlson is a columnist for the BPT. She may be reached at

0 273

SAM HANNAThe Louisiana Senate began deliberations May 25 on the $24-billion state budget.

The spending plan for the 2015-2016 fiscal year sailed out of the House of Representatives late last week amid little fanfare. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Lawmakers have until 6 p.m. on June 11 to get things right, or return for a special session in the worst of years to have one — an election year.

In the mix to help neutralize a $1.6-billion revenue shortfall are some $600-plus million in new taxes courtesy of the House of Representatives, which is fitting since all revenue measures must originate in the House. At least that’s what the state Constitution tells us. For now anyway.

Included among the tax increases are a modest spike in the cigarette tax and 10 other measures that tinker with various tax breaks for the business community. The giveaways for the motion picture and solar industries are impacted, too, though far too lightly. Those folks should remind you of career bureaucrats, meaning you can never fill them up.

Though the House signed off on the tax hikes as if members were handing out Christmas presents, the state budget arrived in the Senate some $155 million shy of being balanced. That’s pocket change, especially with Senate President John Alario piloting the ship. If anyone can find a couple of hundred million dollars to shore up the budget, Alario can — with his eyes closed.

Still, the budget must be balanced thanks to that pesky provision in the state Constitution. To you fans of big government, that means the state can’t follow the federal government’s lead and engage in deficit spending, or just borrow money from the Chinese to make ends meet. Instead, in Louisiana we are expected to pay as we go, or at least give the impression we’re paying our bills in a timely fashion. After all, what the people don’t know won’t necessarily hurt them.

All along throughout this fiscal-only session of the Legislature as well as in the weeks leading up to the session, we were led to believe Gov. Bobby Jindal would never sign off on a budget that was balanced by any net increases in taxes. Apparently Jindal got his cue from Grover Norquist, better known as “the” anti-tax crusader in America. Norquist, by the way, operates an outfit called Americans for Tax Reform. It’s based in Washington, D.C., which, by my count, is a long way from the Capitol in Baton Rouge.
That’s neither here nor there, though.

Besides, there’s been a change in plans, or a change in how this year’s budget is expected to spare higher education from deep cuts in state funding while keeping Norquist and his ilk happy.

That change surfaced Monday when Tim Barfield, secretary at the state Department of Revenue, said, in so many words, that the net increase in taxes wiggle would be figured over a five-year period. “It’s OK to have some things front-loaded,” Barfield said.

Which is just peachy since every tax hike the House passed, except the cigarette tax, expires in no less than 18 months after they’re initially levied. In other words, the Legislature can pass these new taxes and Jindal can go along with them and two important goals will have been achieved: The “fiscal crisis” is abated and Jindal gets a passing grade in the eyes of Norquist.

But, my fellow Louisianians, the “fiscal crisis” is going nowhere. It’s simply going into hibernation for a spell so lawmakers can run for re-election and Jindal can run for president.

So, in other words, there was no fiscal crisis. It’s a political crisis.

It always is.

Sam Hanna is a state political writer.

0 441

From Staff Reports

Seven Bossier Parish teachers are on the receiving end of $15,000 in grant money for classroom enhancements, thanks to the generosity of the Optimist Club of Bossier City and its continuing commitment to be a “Friend of Youth.”

The educators were recognized at an awards luncheon May 27 at Ralph and Kacoo’s, hosted by the Optimist Club. This is the 24th year the civic organization has awarded grants to Bossier teachers, totaling $387,000.

“Most of this year’s winning submissions are for technology-related grants,” said Judy Podner, who coordinates the Optimist Teacher Grant program on behalf of Bossier Parish Schools. “The 21st century classroom demands students have access to technology and with limited district and state funding, it is nearly impossible to keep up with changing technology without community partners like the Optimist Club of Bossier.”

This year 52 grant proposals were submitted. The seven recipients of the 2015 Optimist Teacher Grants are: Savannah Anderson, Airline High; Megan Chaddick, Benton Middle; Aundrea Weinreber, Haughton High; Dawn Fausto, Meadowview Elementary; Lyndsi Beard, T.O. Rusheon Middle; Charlene Cooper, T.O. Rusheon Middle; and Jamie Prock and Casey Norenberg, Waller Elementary.

Winning grant requests include everything from Chromebooks to enable project-based learning, Lego Robotics Models to support the district’s STEM initiative, phonics and spelling kits, as well as technology to increase reading fluency and comprehension and to assist in recording and graphing lab data.

Optimist Teachers of the Year were also recognized. They are: Dawn Melvin, Platt Elementary; Kathryn Davis, Haughton Middle; and Stacy Smith, Bossier High.

Bossier Schools Superintendent D.C. Machen told Optimist members, “You have established a legacy like no other civic organization. I will say it every time; there is no community resource more valuable to Bossier Schools than the Optimist Club of Bossier.”

0 287

Camp Cavs, BPCC’s summer program for kids, will be held in the months of June and July 2015. Camps are 3 or 4 hours and are scheduled Monday-Friday, unless otherwise noted. Camps are available for ages 5-18 and include softball, basketball, tennis, culinary, cheer, dance, guitar, theater/drama, computer to name a few.  All campers will receive T-shirts.

Registration for Camp Cavs is open now, and camps will be held at Bossier Parish Community College campus, UNLESS otherwise noted.  There may be additional supply fees associated with certain camps.

For more information or to register, contact BPCC’s Workforce and Continuing Education Department at (318) 678-6015 or go online and click the Camp Cavs web banner on the BPCC homepage at www.bpcc.edu  or type the url in your browser’s address line www.bpcc.edu/continuingeducation.  Campers must complete a release form prior to participation.

Camp Cavs
Cavalier Boys Basketball Camp • $109
Ages 6-9 June 9-12 9 am-noon
Ages 10-15 June 16-19 9 am-noon

Cavalier Cheer Camp • $109
Ages 5-12 June 8-12 9 am-noon

Cavalier Dance Line Camp • $109
Ages 5-12 July 20-24 9 am-noon

Cavalier Softball Camp • $79
Girls Ages 6-15 June 8-10 9am-noon

Cavalier Young Chefs Camp • $169
Ages 10-17 June 15-19 1 pm-4 pm

New! Cavalier Young Chefs Camp – Cake Decoration and Pastries • $169
Ages 10-17 June 8-12 1 pm-4 pm

Cavalier Drama Fun Fest • $129
Ages 8-15 June 8-12 8 am-noon
Ages 8-15 June 15-19 8 am-noon

Guitar Camp for Beginners • $129
Ages10-14 June 22-26 8 am-noon

New! Kid’s Hip Hop Dance • $79
Ages 5-12 June 29-August 3 6 pm-7 pm

New!   Kids Hip Hop Dance • $79
Ages 5-12  June 29-August 3 6 pm-7 pm

New! Youth Hip Hop Dance • $79
Ages 13-18 June 29-August 3 7 pm-8 pm

New! Kids Learn to Sew • $79
Ages 7-18 June 3-5 9 am-noon

New! 3D Animation for Games Level 1 • $375
Ages 12-18 June 22-26 10 am-4 pm

New! Game Programming (Design) Level 1 • $375
Ages 12-18 July 13-17 10 am-4 pm

New! Minecraft Movie Maker • $375
Ages 12-18 July 20-24 10 am-4 pm

New! Tennis and Sports Camp • $120
Ages 4-14 June 8-12 8:30 am-12:30 pm
Ages 4-14 June15-19 8:30 am-12:30 pm
Ages 4-14 July 13-17 8:30 am-12:30 pm
Ages 4-14 July 20-24 8:30 am-12:30 pm

0 319

Before you pick up the popcorn and soda for your next movie night at home make the library your first stop. It may not be the first place you think of to find a good movie or two, but you will be surprised at the wide variety we have in older movies as well as newer releases. There is something for all ages and interests.

Take home The Hunger Games series for a marathon movie night or the Walt Disney Studios movie Frozen that the entire family can enjoy. If you missed a couple episodes of your favorite television series there are quite a few in our collection such as Downtown Abbey, Bones, The Closer, and Dexter.

You can also download a movie from Hoopla by going to the library website at www.bossierlibrary.org. There are several movie categories to choose from: Based on True Story; Independent Cinema; Disney; Just for Kids; and Award winners.

Planning a road trip? Keep the younger children entertained while traveling with a few DVDs they will like such as Chuggington, Peter Pan and The Wiggles. Antz by DreamWorks Animation and Spider-man: The Ultimate Villain Showdown by Buena Vista are great for older children who want some time to themselves.

The only movie ticket you will need is your library card. Just think how much you will save by going to the library for your movie night selections.

Our library! Gateway to the Past, Bridge to the Future.

Make a note:

Bossier Central Library 746-1693
Thursday, June 18 from 6—7p.m., the Bossier Central Book Club will review “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.

East 80 Library 949-2665
Thursday, June 18 from 3:30—4:30p.m., the Summer Book Club for ages 7—12 will discuss “The Drowned Vault” by N. D. Wilson.

Haughton Library 949-0196
Tuesday, June 16 at 9:30a.m., the Haughton Book Club will examine “Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman.

New Books
“The Shadows” by J. R. Ward
“The Memory Painter” by Gwendolyn Womack
“Diamond Head” by Cecily Wong
“Green on Blue” by Elliot Ackerman
“Bittersweet” by Susan Wittig Albert
“Vostok” by Steve Alten
“Little Black Lies” by Sharon Bolton
“By Your Side” by Candace Calvert
“Slated for Death: A Penny Brannigan Mystery” by Elizabeth Duncan
“Burning Down George Orwell’s House” by Andrew Ervin

“The War That Forged A Nation” by James McPherson
“Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington” by Cokie Roberts
“A Fine Romance” by Candice Bergen
“Finding Peter” by William Peter Blatty
“Women, Food, Desire” by Alexandra Jamieson
“The Road to Character” by David Brooks
“Helping Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome Get & Stay Hired” by Barbara Bissonnette
“Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland” by Amanda Berry
“Medicare” by Tanya Feke
“Medical Terminology: Mastering the Basics” by Cindy Destafano

Vickie Hardin is Associate Director of Public Relations for Bossier Parish Library. She can be reached at vhardin@bossierlibrary.org

0 319

An article in the April 19, 1928 issue of the Bossier Banner editorialized the use of buses, also called “transfers,” to transport school children.

“There used to be a day when well-meaning residents of Bossier Parish took a stand against the then new practice of transporting school children from outlying districts to the more centrally located schools. They were not so much against transportation as for the little country schools. That was their viewpoint. Don’t abandon the little country school was their plea. Keep it—and the little country church, too. They have not both ‘had their day,’ but the little country school is surely passing fast.”

“By reason of being centrally located the schools in the towns out on the front have a larger attendance, larger and better buildings., fuller equipment and larger faculties. These things, essential to a school’s growth, were recognized and, with a desire to make their advantages more general, the authorities cast about for a means to do so. Transportation was the answer. We have learned that in a sparsely settled section we can’t have many good schools, but that we can transport many pupils to the few high schools that we have. It is to be seen at first blush that it is more feasible to do so.”

“The practice of transporting pupils to the larger schools has grown fast here in Bossier Parish, and continues to grow. The average number enrolled to be transported during the first seven months of the 1926-27 term was 880; during the first seven months of the 1927-28 term, 1035. The average number transported during the first seven months of the 1926-27 term was 787; the average number for the first seven months of the 1927-28 term, 932. Thus are the children of educable age in Bossier Parish served, and thus do the schools, fed by a growing string of transportation vans, continue to grow.”

“The transportation of school pupils seems a success here in Bossier Parish.”

To learn more about the early school buses in Bossier Parish, and to see photographs of them, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us

0 245

The high temperatures that will be with us now until October take their toll in the vegetable garden. Tomatoes set fewer fruit and snap beans produce poor-quality beans, for instance.

For some vegetables, on the other hand, the hotter it is the better they like it. As the last of the cool season crops like potatoes and onions are removed or plantings of early summer vegetables such as snap beans finish, these hot weather vegetables are ideal to plant in your garden.

Keep in mind that gardening in mid- to late summer can be more challenging than gardening in spring and early summer. Insect and disease problems are often more numerous, and you must stay on top of control.

Long stretches of hot, dry weather are not uncommon, and you will need to remember to irrigate the garden deeply as needed to keep the vegetables growing vigorously. When you water, avoid wetting the foliage if you can – use soaker hoses, for example. This can help to cut down on fungal infections. The spores of most fungi that cause vegetable diseases must land on a wet leaf to successfully grow and infect the plant.

Don’t forget to much your beds about 2 inches thick with your favorite mulch. I like to use free stuff like leaves and pine straw. A good layer of mulch provides a variety benefits.

Most importantly, mulches help prevent weeds. Annual weed seeds need light to germinate, and the mulch blocks light from reaching the soil. That’s why it needs to be thick enough. This keeps the seeds from germinating and the garden has less weeds.

Blocking sunlight from reaching the soil surface also prevents the soil from heating up. Keeping the roots cooler helps vegetables deal with summer heat.

Mulch conserves moisture and prevents the soil from drying out so fast – important during dry weather.
You could hardly have a Southern garden without okra. Plant seeds now into well prepared beds spacing the seeds 4 to 6 inches apart. Water frequently. When the seeds come up, thin the seedlings to about 12 inches apart. Production usually begins in 50 to 60 days and continues until fall. Harvest the pods frequently while they are small and tender.

Southern peas are easy, productive and delicious. Excellent varieties include Mississippi Silver, Purple Hull, Whippoorwill, black-eyed and Elite. They grow on short vines and do not require trellises.

Members of the cucumber family that can be planted now include cantaloupe, cassabanana, cucuzza, luffa, mirliton (plant sprouted fruit), pumpkin and watermelon. Although squash and cucumbers can be planted now, production is difficult during midsummer because of pest problems – particularly squash vine borers.

Our main crop medium- to large-size tomatoes are set in late April, May and June and ripen in May, June and July. Once it gets really hot, with days in the 90s and nights in the 70s, these tomatoes will set far fewer fruit as pollination is less reliable.

Tomato breeders have worked on this problem, however, and developed a number of varieties that are able to set fruit despite the high temperatures. So if you’re going to plant tomatoes this late, be sure you choose types able to set fruit in high temperatures, such as Florida 91, Heatwave II, Phoenix, Solar Set, Sun Leaper, Sun Master, Solar Fire and Talladega. Cherry tomatoes and paste tomatoes tend to continue to set fruit well during summer heat.

Disease and insect problems are often more challenging for tomatoes growing during the stressful heat of midsummer. Keep an eye out for pest problems and deal with them quickly with appropriate treatments before too much damage occurs. That really goes for all vegetables.

One of my favorites hot weather vegetables is the yardlong bean. Originating in southern Asia, it is now grown extensively in Asia and Europe and is slowly gaining popularity here in the United States. It is not as commonly grown in Louisiana as it deserves to be. Although they resemble pole snap beans, yardlong beans are more closely related to Southern peas, such as black-eyed, purple hull and crowder peas.

As with snap beans, the part of this plant commonly eaten is the immature bean pods. Harvest when the pods are smaller than the diameter of a pencil, before the seeds have filled out inside and when the pods still snap when bent – generally when about 12 to 18 inches long. You may need to harvest daily because continuous picking keeps the plants producing.

Other vegetables that can be planted now are amaranth, collards, eggplant (the long, skinny Japanese types are more productive in heat), Jerusalem artichokes, Malabar spinach, New Zealand spinach, peanuts, hot peppers, sweet peppers (Banana, Gypsy), sweet potato (slips), Swiss chard and tomatillo. This is also a great time to plant basil.

Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter. He can be reached at DGill@agcenter.lsu.edu

0 599

From Staff Reports

Crews contracted by the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) have renewed the battle against giant salvinia on Lake Bistineau, but rain and high water isn’t making the task any easier.

Jeff Sibley of the LDWF told members of the Bistineau Task Force that contractors have treated more than 600 acres of the lake to date, but have been hampered by the weather.

“We probably could have covered more by now, but the crews can’t work when the weather is like it is now,” Sibley told the multi-parish task force members during their regular meeting at the Webster Parish courthouse.

Sibley said the salvinia is beginning to form mats as new, secondary-stage plants begin to develop. And, he added, currents on the lake along with high water and prevailing winds shifts the mats from one area to another.
Sibley said he plans to take an aerial look at the lake sometime in June, then conduct an evening public meeting to share with local residents what he has seen.

“We’ll pick a date in the next week or two…probably try to call the meeting around the 22nd of June,” he said.
Sibley said the department is sticking to its plan of treating the lake to maintain the level of coverage. He indicated some side benefits have been noticed that show the plan of treatment and controlling the lake’s water level is working.

“The number and size of the multiple species of fish that have been caught from the lake this year is a product of the fluctuation of the water level,” he pointed out. “We’re creating a healthier ecosystem for the fish right now.”

Sibley also explained why gates at the Lake Bistineau dam are not opened at times when Bayou Dorcheat is high and the lake level is rising.

“Those gates are not flood control gates…they’re not designed for the lowering of the lake. Flood control gates drop from the top. If you raise the gates, you’re taking away a portion of the 1,200-foot spillway. It’s like having a big log jam on top and you’re piling up the water,” he said.
Task force members also heard a presentation from Dr. Shinyou Li, director of Stephen F. Austin University’s National Center for Pharmaceutical Crops. According to Li, his team’s research on giant salvinia has produced some interesting results.

“New salvinia plant structures show promising activities against some human cancers, including pancreatic,” Dr. Li said. “Compounds taken from salvinia stopped tumor growth in tests, and the dosage doesn’t hurt normal cells.”

As part of the research, Dr. Li’s team is also studying possible methods of eradicating or controlling the growth of giant salvinia.

Bistineau Task Force members represent Bossier, Webster and Bienville parish police juries plus Saline, Dorcheat and Bodcau soil and water conservation districts. The panel was created in 2009 by the three police juries in cooperation with Trailblazer Resource Conservation and Development and the conservation districts.

0 552

From Staff Reports

BENTON — Recent action taken by the Bossier Parish School Board will save taxpayers nearly $700,000.

A total of $25 million in bond funding was received and deposited into Bossier Schools’ account to fund ongoing construction projects across the district. This is the result of the Bossier Parish School Board selling a fourth round of bonds in April to take advantage of historically low interest rates.

Because of lower annual rates, board members also refinanced a series of 2007 and 2008 construction bonds. This action will save the taxpayers of Bossier Parish $690,000 over the next 13 years.

“Our school system has been blessed with a high level of confidence from voters approving this historic bond referendum,” said Glen Bullard, President of the Bossier Parish School Board. “However, we have never lost sight of the fact we must be good stewards of those funds. We have enjoyed an extraordinary bond situation, both selling construction bonds at this attractive rate as well as the door being opened to refinance existing bonds, thus saving taxpayer dollars.”

Bossier Parish Schools is in the third year of a $210 million construction program approved by parish voters in April 2012.