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Third bond proposal in the works for BR

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Posted: Sep 8, 2010 10:12 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
Updated: Sep 8, 2010 10:43 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: bond, projects, downtown, Holden, mayor, Metro Council, Alive

Mayor Kip Holden surprised the Metro Council by saying he wants another bond proposal. This time, there are just improvements; no "Alive" project on the river.

The mayor told the council he wants to keep this plan "lean and mean," unlike the one that failed last November, in hopes of addressing the issues neglected for 50 years. It's a move some council members said they aren't sure about.

"If he takes out 'Alive,' you still have some infrastructure improvements. You still have two hotels, I believe," said councilman Chandler Loupe. "There's a lot of projects in it that I think people had problems with other than just 'Alive.'

"This would be the third chance. Although 'Alive' is being take out of it, that was the most controversial part," said councilman Joel Boe'.

The less controversial parts included a new prison and fire stations, along with downtown development, drainage and bridge projects.

"All of the projects are certainly needed projects," said Boe'. "I've never disputed that we need 'em. The only way you can get them is if you had money to do them."

In a time when money is tight, council members said this may be the hardest sell yet.

"I think the mayor has an uphill battle, frankly, in these times to pass any tax issues," said Loupe.

"The economy is in a bad state, so are taxpayers willing to go to the polls and vote to raise their taxes? Who knows," said Boe', "but I'm all for the public getting the opportunity to vote on that issue and let their voice be heard."

The mayor said the council should be voting on the new bond in January in order to get it on an April 30 ballot. That would be a special election on the parish's dime. The mayor did not want to comment any further on plans for the bond.

The conversation between the mayor and council was not as friendly earlier in the meeting. An argument between the mayor and one council member stemmed from comments about the Holden administration repeatedly not giving the council information, including the most recent request about the city's crime cameras. The discussion was deferred for two weeks.

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