BPPJ gets a look at new downtown

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Bossier City is moving ahead with plans for what City Attorney Jimmy Hall calls the Downtown Revision Project and members of the Bossier Parish Police Jury got a glimpse of the future at their meeting Wednesday.

“We knew this would not come alive without a commitment of dollars so we issued $14 million in bonds, then another $5 million. This is a reality,” Hall said.

Hall said interest in the project, which had been discussed years ago, renewed when officials learned that information technology company Computer Science Corp. was trying to decide between Bossier City and Lincoln, Nebraska as the site to build a center.

City leaders learned one of the attractions in Lincoln to millennials, the young generation of high tech workers, was the Haymarket District, a collection of upscale shops, restaurants and a plaza. Downtown Bossier City was in need of revitalization, Hall said, and CSC was an incentive to move ahead.

Now, Hall said, Bossier City is excited about turning non-taxpaying property into properties that provide tax revenue. The city already owns property that was purchased when Bossier Parish Community College was expected to relocate to the downtown area.

And, Hall said, the Bossier City Council just appropriated an additional one million dollars for the purchase of more property.

“I envision coming to the police jury for a commitment of property we co-own down in the area so we can continue the development process,” Hall said. “I want to proceed with a tri-partnership agreement with the city, the police jury and the parish school board.”

Hall said demolition of old buildings on some property has been completed, and more can be expected soon.

“We have created a vision…an excitement down there,” he said. “As we close on more property, you can expect to see more demolitions down there.”

In other business during the meeting, police jury members:

-Approved plats of three proposed developments in the parish.

-Gave approval to abandonment of the Pin Oak Flat subdivision in Haughton.

-Approved scheduling three public hearings on plats for developments and one public hearing on a request for a zoning amendment.

-Closed three property standards cases, granted one extension on condemning property and agreed to proceed to a condemnation hearing on a parcel of property after a Property Standards Board of Review report.

-Heard a report from a recent parks and recreation committee meeting.

-Adopted proclamations congratulating Benton Elementary School and Benton Middle School on their world championship archery teams.

-Adopted a resolution of support for Red River Holdings, LLC allowing the company to receive local benefits of the Enterprise Zone Program.

-Approved the donation of a 2007 ambulance to the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office.

-Approved a local services agreement between the parish of Bossier and the Bossier Parish School Board.

-Discussed a request from the town of Plain Dealing seeking assistance with a sewer project.

-Discussed installation of an acceleration lane on U.S. 71 at its intersection with the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway.

-Approved two plan changes to the parish waterworks/sewerage district project.

-Approved utility relocation agreements for the north/south corridor at I-220/Swan Lake Road interchange to Crouch Road improvement.

-Approved a request from the town of Benton for a utility servitude on police jury property between Courthouse Dr. and Burt Blvd.

-Said yes to approval of a certificate of substantial completion of the Kingston Rd. improvement project.

-Approved a proposal from Neel-Schaffer, Inc. to provide engineering services for a traffic study at the intersection of Airline Dr. and Wemple Rd.