The Bossier City Council delayed Tuesday making $6M worth of upgrades to city recreation areas, but approved $1M worth of upgrades to the Bossier City Animal Control facility.
The council voted to continue for 30 days approving $6M from the LCDA bond grant that would be used for several improvements to parks and complexes.
The funds would go towards field lighting improvements at nine parks and complexes across the city, additional parking for Swan Lake and Walbrook, new concessions, restrooms at Meadowview, football fields, soccer field, and more equipment.
“This $6 million is in addition to the $14 million for Tinsley Park that has already been allocated by the council. These two items make up the $20 million dedicated from the bond issue that was passed by council last year. It’s all for park improvements and enhancements,” said Traci Landry, public information officer for the City of Bossier City.
The $1M for the animal control facility will see improvements and renovations to the facility.
Dale Keeler, superintendent of Animal Control, told the Press-Tribune in December that the city planned to start work on the animal control facility improvements this year.
Planned improvements include a new adoption wing, additional storage space for supplies, expanded office space, and an updated animal treatment room.
“At this moment we are struggling with how small our facility is. It’s old and a little outdated. Our lobby area is very small. It’s a cramped space to have to deal with animal control and adoption needs on a daily basis,” Keeler said previously.
Bossier City Chief Administrative Officer Pam Glorioso told the Press-Tribune late last year, “On Animal Control, we know that (this funding) is going to be a bandaid. We know we need a bigger unit that’s easier to operate. We need another $1.5 to $2 million to build the facility we need.”
The funds are part of the Bossier City’s utilization of $60 million worth of new bonds to make upgrades such as new roads, expansion of current roads, parks and recreation, and a new Council on Aging building.
The bonds won’t cost taxpayers any money as the debt service will be paid via a redirected .25-cent sales tax. Approved in 1982 to fund a police and fire pension, the pension has been fully funded and that portion of sales tax can now be used by the city for improvements.
“We’re saving money. To the citizen, he or she won’t see a millage increase. We’re utilizing the same pennies coming in to put projects back on the ground in Bossier City,” Glorioso said in November.
The largest share of the bond issue is dedicated to Bossier Parks and Recreation, with $20 million going to various projects.
“We believe parks and recreation is important. Having a child be able to go out and play ball helps as a way to deter crime. It means our crime statistics are lower than they would be otherwise,” Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker previously told the Press-Tribune.
“To compete and bring in these (baseball/softball) tournaments, we’re competing against other places that have turf fields,” Glorioso added. “It’s an improvement for the quality of life of our citizens and to bring in teams for tournaments for an economic windfall.”