Paul Pratt argues that it is time for the City of Shreveport to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Gateway Development Council.
Actually its time for Pratt and his associates to take off their rose tinted glasses and acknowledge some realities about their proposed pie in the sky development at Cross Bayou.
The state of Louisiana has major budget problems and recently sent eviction notices to nursing home residents. Is it realistic to think the state will sign off to either build or lease a municipal complex which Pratt says is the critical component of the project?
The total facility members of Bossier Parish Community College, Southern University Shreveport and Louisiana State University Shreveport number less than 350. Is it realistic to believe a high tech teaching facility with a 350 member facility will be established at Cross Bayou?
Shreveport has been losing population in recent years. Is it realistic to expect 10,000 (or more) residents to re-locate to live in the planned 5,000 unit residential complex?
The proposed MOU states that the proposed “project requires significant public infrastructure improvements.” Is it realistic to think Shreveport will invest in this project rather than continue to improve its substandard infrastructure?
Pratt’s assertion that GDC “has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in time and money” on the project is not relevant. Pratt’s group was not solicited to do anything on Cross Bayou.
And the fact that there has been other studies on Cross Bayou is also a meaningless argument.
Pratt fails to acknowledge that the sports complex was not going to be built until a lease had been signed to help make the bond payments for construction of the facility. His project has no source of funding at this date to generate income to fund the inevitable bond payments for infrastructure that the City will need to make at Cross Bayou.
Bottom line, the City does not have any obligation to GDC or any other unsolicited group that comes forward with a development plan. This is especially true for a proposal that has big dreams, suspect economics, and very little support by Shreveport citizens.