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Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

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City responds admirably to winter weather

Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux is pleased with the way the city responded to extremely cold weather last week that closed roads, schools and municipal offices.

He was also grateful for assistance from nature.

“We were a little fortunate that we had a lot more sunshine, and that helped,” he said.

Arceneaux said that the city rented four front-end loaders ahead of the storm. They were used to remove ice around the hospitals in the city. According to Arceneaux, they were more useful than the city’s two snowplows in light of the weather Shreveport received.

“Snowplows don’t work on ice,” he said. “What we got was ice not snow, and that makes a difference.”

Shreveport saw several days of subfreezing temperatures and an accumulation of freezing rain. Schools, city offices and several businesses were closed for a couple of days after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Arceneaux said preparation played a crucial role in minimizing the weather’s impact.

“The Bilberry Park and Airport Park warming stations were used sparingly, but it was important to have them open,” he said. “The city’s Water and Sewer and Public Works employees did a terrific job responding to citizens’ needs. I am glad we got the amount of precipitation we did and did not get power outages.”

State of the City

Arceneaux is delivering his State of the City this week. He will provide a 16-page written version to the city council, and he has also recorded a version for broadcast.

“It’s about 16 pages,” Arceneaux said of the written version. “It’s a pretty good report. I have never done one before. I am not sure how detailed others have been before.”

He said the broadcast version would differ from the written version he expected to deliver to council members on Tuesday.

“The oral one will have a bit more wow and a little less detail.”

Open container ordinance

Arceneaux said he plans to deliver a veto of the open-container ordinance passed by the city council on Jan. 9.

The ordinance would allow for open containers of alcohol in the Red River Entertainment District under the Texas Street Bridge in downtown Shreveport. During their discussion of the ordinance, council members weighed the potential for revitalizing the area with an open container law and resolving associated safety and security issues. The rule also extended alcohol sales in the Red River District until 4 a.m.

Arceneaux said last week that he intends to deliver his written veto of the ordinance this Thursday. Last week, he explained his three reasons for vetoing the measure.

“It could be interpreted to include the surface of the bridge,” Arceneaux said. “That needs to be corrected.

“I do not favor open container sales until 4 a.m. The original draft cut it off at 2 a.m., which aligns with what Bossier is doing. I prefer being in line with what is happening across the bridge.

“I also am concerned we didn’t look into the reasons why the prior exception was released in 2008.”

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