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Bossier updates


This is qualifying week; by Friday we’ll know the candidates for a slew of elected offices.

In the meantime, a few Bossier updates …

Last Tuesday’s Bossier City Council agenda meeting included brief discussion about an agenda item to “adopt an ordinance levying a tax of 22.75 mills on all taxable property within the limits of the City of Bossier … for the year 2014 …”

Council member David Montgomery noted that some residents apparently believe that the Council is doing something new.

Any such belief is incorrect.  Each year, the Council, and any other property taxing body in the state, must adopt the millage rate to be collected for the year.  And the 22.75 mills the Council will vote to collect is the same rate as adopted last year – which is the lowest millage rate city property owners have paid in decades.

Of perhaps more interest was a brief discussion about an agenda item item to appropriate funds to develop a master plan for old downtown Bossier City.

Brief discussion after the meeting included planning for redevelopment of  the old Bossier area, roughly located in the area of Traffic Street to Hamilton Road to Coleman Street.  Suggestions of what we could see in the future include a walkable, pedestrian area that could feature two-story buildings with commercial activity on the lower floors and apartment living on the upper levels.

Other considerations might see a grocery store, eateries, boutique-style retail, and green space.  Already, it appears that the old Fire Station 6 has a near future as a microbrewery. Other old buildings in the district are likely destined for renovation to new purposes as well.

While this isn’t the first time there’s been discussion of reviving old Bossier, it appears that the time has come for this part of Bossier City to become a vibrant and popular contributor to Bossier’s economy.

South Bossier also looks to be a beneficiary of effective planning.  The final Barksdale Boulevard Corridor Redevelopment Plan (resulting from the lawsuit settlement between Coleman Companies and Bossier City) has been much refined from the very broad suggestions offered in early summer.Coleman’s planned development along Walker Place, between Barksdale Boulevard and the ART Parkway, looks to serve as the catalyst for redevelopment north and south on Barksdale Boulevard.

Additionally, plans include better definition of “south Bossier,” with gateway signage identifying it as a distinct area of the city, much expanded pedestrian and bicycling opportunity for the area, and significant aesthetic improvement of the entry areas to south Bossier’s subdivisions/neighborhoods along the corridor.

Out in the parish, the Cypress Black Bayou Recreation and Water Conservation District Board (CBB) will be asking voters in 64 of the parish’s 85 precincts to approve renewal of the district’s 1.54 property tax millage on the November 4 ballot.

Over the last year and a half, new board members and Interim Executive Director Robert Berry (also a board member) have made significant progress in improving everything from fiscal controls to park infrastructure to drawing large public sporting events to the park.  The park’s zoo has been scaled back to the original plan that called for a smaller facility and resources have been focused on the recreation and water conservation purpose of the district.

Berry updated the guests at last week’s board meeting on the success of the park’s most recent public event:  The 34th River Cities Triathlon drew about 1,200 participants and 4,000 visitors to the park.

CBB is definitely one of Bossier’s jewels and any visitor  will agree that CBB’s property tax millage should be renewed.

Marty Carlson is a columnist for the Bossier Press-Tribune. She may be reached via email at martycarlson1218@gmail.com 

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.