Posted: Oct 22, 2021, 10:08 AM
Finding providers to deliver broadband services to unserved and underserved areas of Bossier Parish is an ongoing process, Parish Administrator Bill Altimus told police jury members Wednesday.
“We’re working a lot of angles, getting many proposals from companies wanting support to obtain GUMBO funds,” Altimus said. “Many proposals are around the lake (Cypress); there seems to be a lot of interest in that area.”
GUMBO (Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities) program, offers $180 million in federal funds to help provide broadband and internet access to households statewide. The program applies to private providers with the support of local governments, like the Bossier Parish Police Jury.
“These companies want our support in their GUMBO applications. That’s why we want to be thorough in vetting those who want our support,” Altimus said.
Some changes in the GUMBO program requirements will prove to be critical to companies hoping to qualify, he told the jury. One major change is in the required transmission speed. Another would require interested companies to participate in workforce development for Louisiana residents.
Altimus said he and members of the police jury’s broadband study committee had been in discussions with a consulting group that would help identify areas that qualify as unserved or underserved. That group would also provide the expertise to vet individual company proposals to determine the best fits for those areas.
A proposal from the consulting group could be presented for the jury’s consideration within 60 to 90 days, he said.
Broadband study committee chairman Philip Rodgers agreed that a firm with knowledge about the industry and the programs available to potential providers would be extremely helpful.
“We need someone to guide us,” Rodgers said. “Consultants offer a service. We need to look at this and move forward. We want to spend the money to get into this, but we don’t want to waste money.”
Altimus said plenty of money is available for the broadband plan and more will be coming in the future.
“This is a long-term play,” he said. “You will be talking about this two years from now.”
Also during Wednesday’s meeting, jury members:
** Authorized the advertising for bids for annual supplies and materials for the Bossier Parish Highway Department, bids to be received Thursday, December 2, 2021, at 2:00 p.m.
** Declared the following property/equipment located at the Cypress Bend Garden District Treatment Plant as surplus on behalf of Consolidated Waterworks/Sewerage District No. 1 of the Parish of Bossier, and authorize the advertising for bids for said surplus property/equipment; minimum bid $25,000.00; bids to be received November 30, 2021, at 2:00 p.m.
Cypress Bend Garden District Treatment Plant
** Declared the following property/equipment located at the St. Charles Treatment Plant as surplus on behalf of Consolidated Waterworks/Sewerage District No. 1 of the Parish of Bossier, and authorize the advertising for bids for said surplus property/equipment; minimum bid $5,000.00; bids to be received November 30, 2021, at 2:00 p.m.
St. Charles Treatment Plant
** Tabled approval of the Site Plan for Swan Lake commercial subdivision, Unit No. 2, being a resubdivision of Swan Lake commercial subdivision, Unit No. 1, located in Section 26, Township 19 North, Range 13 West, Bossier Parish. (Located on the corner of Swan Lake Road and Duckwater Landing.)
** Tabled approval of the plat of the proposed development of Edgewater Pass subdivision, located in Section 22, Township 19 North, Range 13 West, Bossier Parish. (Located off Legacy Elementary Dr.)
** Scheduled a public hearing on December 1 to consider adoption of the 2022 Bossier Parish Police Jury budget.
** Scheduled a public hearing on November 17 to consider adoption of an ordinance amending Chapter 94, “Commercial Vehicle Enforcement”, Section 94-10(B)(8), of the Bossier Parish Code of Ordinances, to add subsection (K) Establishing Additional BPPJCVEU Permit Conditions and Fees.
** Scheduled a public hearing on November 17 to consider approval of the minor plat for Grant Dunlap, located in Section 16, Township 18 North, Range 11 West, Bossier Parish. (Located off Evangeline Lane off Highway 3227.)
** Scheduled a public hearing on November 17 to consider approval of the proposed development of South Haughton Estates subdivision, Unit No. 2, located in Section 35, Township 18 North, Range 11 West, Bossier Parish. (Located on Hickory Nut Lane off Camp Zion Rd. in South Haughton Estates subdivision.)
** Scheduled a public hearing on December 1 to consider the application of Freddie M. Widmer to the Bossier City-Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission for a zoning amendment to change the zoning classification of a certain tract of land being 9.992 acres, more or less, located at 3475 Sligo Road, Bossier City, in Section 13, Township 17 North, Range 12 West, Bossier Parish, from I-1, Light Industrial District, to R-A, Residence-Agricultural District, for personal storage.
** After meeting of the Property Standards Board of Review, agreed to proceed to condemnation hearings on properties at 3402 Pinehaven Cr. And 115 Flag Dr.
** Accepted reports on meetings of the Insurance Committee, the Policy and Procedures Committee and the Road/Subdivision Regulations Committee.
** Approved applications for renewal of Bossier Parish beer/liquor licenses for 2022. (Approved by the Sheriff and health department.)
** Accepted request from John Mooney to lease parish owned property located at 409 Caplis Sligo Rd., Bossier City, Tax Assessment No. 121272.
** Approved Change Order No. 1 for Project No. 2021-116, proposed street improvements, DR 4263 PW 910 paved roads, Task Order No. 4.
** Approved the Certificate of Substantial Completion for Project No. 2021-114, proposed street improvements, DR 4263 PW 910 paved road, Task Order No. 2.
** Agreed to a 60-day moratorium on all frac operations within 3,000 feet of a platted subdivision located inside the Bossier City-Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission, Benton-Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission, and Haughton Metropolitan Planning Commission areas.
** Approved Supplement No. 2 to the engineering and construction services contract with Civil Design Group, LLC, for Project No. 2021-107, Louisiana State Highway 3 (Benton Rd.) turn lane extensions at I-220.
** Approved Amendment No. 1 to the Professional Services Agreement for roadside vegetation management with EDKO, LLC, Project No. 2020-117, roadside vegetation management.