It’s been cussed and discussed. At water coolers, in coffee shops and in social media. Almost as much as the “no call” in the Saints-Rams debacle.
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins has asked the Shreveport City Council to set an $18- per-month Clean City User Fee. The fee is to be added to water bills.
The funding from the fee is to increase wages of sanitation workers, offset the general fund subsidy of garbage pickup and bolster the city’s woefully inadequate reserves. The ordinance is set for a council vote on Tuesday (Jan.11).
All seven council members agree that the three funding issues need to be addressed.
And soon. But how to get there, at what cost and what to include in any new fee is the $64 question.
To his credit, Perkins has stated, repeatedly, that he is open to negotiation on the amount of the fee. As promised, his administration has promptly provided information requested by several council members.
The council's Audit and Finance Committee reviewed in great detail the proposed fee at a recent meeting. Six council members were in attendance along with numerous city officials.
Councilman Grayson Boucher has expanded the discussion. He wants pay raises for the Shreveport police and fire departments to be included in the user fee ordinance.
Perkins wants prompt action to address severe understaffing of sanitation workers and a possible downgrading of the city’s bond rating. The council has recognized the need to take prompt action.
Whether this will be on Tuesday or later this month is an open question. It is expected that the proposed ordinance will be amended before it’s enacted.