SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A group of homeowners want to leave the City of Shreveport and create their own town.
They’re calling it Ellerbe Park and said a new township would benefit both the city and the residents of south Shreveport.
John Lorick and John Harris said the idea of creating a township around the Ellerbe Road area goes back decades.
“The conversation has been building for years. And if you think about it and look back, there was an annexation that happened in the 80s and then a de-annexation of this same part of this area,” said John Harris, who is a local attorney.
They’ve created a logo to promote what they’re calling the Ellerbe Park community. They said under an independent township they could better attract businesses and create a better way of life for their residents.
“Shreveport has lost the opportunity for new business. We’re losing people, we’re losing businesses. Ellerbe Park will give us a fresh breath of air. A lot of people talk about my kids are leaving, my grandkids are leaving. This gives us an opportunity for kids to stay and gives us a future. Where there is no future, you build a future,” said John Lorick, who is a commercial realtor in Shreveport.
They said they have enough resources to thrive without the city and the city could save money by not having to allocate police and fire there.
“Both of those departments are struggling with personnel, their struggling budget-wise. They would not have to provide that additional personnel. They can be brought back into the city,” Lorick said.
“If this area was to break off, and that’s the effort, the city of Shreveport would still have plenty of tax base. Just because the property taxes from this area were to leave you also turn around and have the same influence of sales taxes of individuals who would be leaving the city of Shreveport, but would still be spending those dollars in the city of Shreveport,” Harris said.
And Harris says millages would still be in place until they expire.
“This is not an anti-Shreveport movement. This is an opportunity we can have something new that’s fresh that can bring enterprise to Northwest Louisiana which would benefit Shreveport and the entire area,” Lorick said.
They would also create their own governmental body where a city manager is appointed by a council.
“The City of Shreveport can continue in the methods they want to continue in. But this area says we want to determine our own future and we have other ideas and we want to go in this direction,” said Harris.
Their next step will be creating a petition for de-annexation which they will present to the city council.