SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – To appeal to larger companies and create jobs, the Port of Caddo-Bossier is beginning the bid process for a new $35 million waterline.
The new line will bring millions of gallons of water from Bossier City to the port and connect to its newly acquired acreage on the west side of Hwy 1. Port officials say the improvements will attract larger manufacturing facilities and could create hundreds of jobs. Bossier City officials expect the new water line to bring in millions in profits.
“This waterline is about jobs,” Eric England, Executive Port Director, said. “By having this source of water, The Port of Caddo-Bossier becomes more desirable to manufacturers who want a mega-site where construction won’t be delayed by adding needed services.”
President of the Port Commission Walt Bigby Jr. said they need “shovel-ready greenfield sites to attract businesses to the area.”
“The Port is working on a rail spur for those sites. We also plan on adding electric substations, natural gas lines, and transload facilities, so these sites are ready for construction,” the Port Commission said in a release Tuesday.
Officials say the water line, approved by the Bossier City Council in April, could make more than $1.7 million by selling three million gallons of water a day to a port tenant. The port financed the project with a $35 million low-interest loan. Representatives say they will use the port’s portion of water sale profits to pay it back.
“As a city council, we have the responsibility to provide services to our citizens while saving them as much money as possible,” said Bossier City Councilman David Montgomery. “This agreement will increase revenues, so we can take care of our city’s needs without asking our residents for more money.”
The Red River Water Treatment Plant was upgraded to handle 50 million gallons of water a day but is not yet operating at full capacity. Port officials say the plant could still handle the port’s expansion if the city’s population doubled.
Bossier City Mayor Tommy Chandler called the progress a win for the city and Northwest Louisiana.
“Bossier City will be able to count on additional revenue. At the same time, this waterline will give The Port a better shot at landing a company that can create a significant number of jobs, possibly bringing new residents to Bossier City.”
The pipeline will connect to an existing waterline that ends at Parkway High School and will extend to the Red River. A tunnel 100 ft. under the river will connect the waterline to the port. Crews will add a second sewage pipeline and cap the line until waste needs to move to Bossier City for treatment.