Bossier Parish Engineer Butch Ford is about to see a $20.5 million wish to address infrastructure needs in the parish come true.
Parish Treasurer Joe Buffington told parish police jury members Wednesday that arrangements have been finalized with Regions Bank to borrow that amount to target road and bridge repairs and replacement and to purchase additional water systems.
“Our best option is to move forward with financing the $20.5 million dollars with Regions after comparing theirs with market offerings,” Buffington told jury members. “Regions’ rates dropped from previous conversations and we’re at 3.25 percent. The market offering was a little north of that.”
Areas where the funds are scheduled to be spent include $3 million for purchase of area water systems, $3.5 million to repair and replace bridges and $14 million for road and drainage projects.
Work could begin on prioritized projects as soon as June. That’s when the first installment of funds from the loan will be released to the police jury. Additional dollars will be released on a schedule set by the parish engineering department. All $20.5 million is scheduled to be spent by October, 2021.
“We needed that money to be able to do the work that absolutely needs to be done in the parish to insure public safety and provide for future growth,” Ford said. “We simply did not have the funds.”
Buffington also told the jury that S&P Global had informed the administration that the parish’s credit rating remained an AA-, a level he called “very good.”