While some members of Shreveport City Council felt that a resolution urging the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) to impose a one-year moratorium on liquor licenses was appropriate, others expressed concern on this subject.
Co-sponsored by Shreveport City Council members Tabatha Taylor and John Nickelson, the resolution would have imposed a one-year moratorium on work permits and certificates of occupancy for liquor stores, retail sales of alcohol and alcohol.
It was adopted in a first 4-3 vote.
However, a last minute call to reconsider the legislation from council member LeVette Fuller put the resolution on the line and was ultimately postponed.
Taylor was not happy with what happened.
“When I look at the number of liquor stores, especially in my district (District A), the number is higher than in any other district in this city,” Taylor pointed out.
The moratorium would give the MPC time to explore the liquor store situation and develop a plan and guidelines for new liquor stores in the future.
Council members clarified that the resolution only encourages the MPC to take exploratory action.
Nickelson reminded the board of the 12-month moratorium the board approved on the issuance of new licenses for payday loan operations which he said has proven to be a very productive exercise.
He added that the moratorium gave the MPC the opportunity to draft legislation that severely restricted recovery operations.
Council Nickelson reiterated that the purpose of the liquor licensing moratorium is to address the historically disproportionate location of liquor stores in poorer parts of town.
Studies show that liquor stores are more prevalent in low-income communities.
Shreveport City Councilor Grayson Boucher, caught in a bit of a dilemma, wanted to know if the moratorium would mean the Brookshire grocery store under construction in his neighborhood would be banned from obtaining a liquor license. The answer was yes.
Board member Jerry Bowman also raised concerns over whether the moratorium would be a hindrance for other businesses, which Boucher also questioned.
Fuller added that imposing a moratorium on liquor stores does nothing to attract other types of businesses that citizens demand.
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins commented in response to Taylor’s comments on other options for the business, saying the city’s economic and community development departments are conducting market research for a grocery store in Taylor District, as a food desert exists in the Cooper Road area.
“We can take that market research and buy it in grocery stores in order to bring it in,” Perkins said. We are convinced that we can bring commerce (outside of liquor stores).
In the remaining cases, a resolution in support of the Town of Shreveport Guaranteed Income Pilot Program was approved.
The resolution serves to support the launch of the city’s unfunded GBI program that would provide a small group of low-income single-parent families with at least six hundred and six hundred dollars a month for one year.
The resolution also authorizes the execution of a memorandum of understanding with the Coalition of Mayors for Guaranteed Income (MGI), the Shreveport Financial Empowerment Center (SFEC) and United Way of Northwest Louisiana.
After the adoption of the resolution, the City will receive $ 500,000 from MGI, and matching funds in the amount of $ 450,000 will be obtained from other sources outside the City for a total of $ 950,000 in funding for This program.
In addition, a curfew ordinance for minors was introduced and an ordinance adding a new section to the city’s code of ordinances relating to drag racing and racing was approved.
The ordinance prohibits drag racing and racing in the city and provides for a fine of $ 500 for a first offense, $ 1,000 for a second, and any subsequent offense or imprisonment for up to thirty days, or of them.