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BRAF to side-step Metro Council in setting up health district in south Baton Rouge

10 months 4 weeks 1 day ago February 23, 2016 Feb 23, 2016 Tuesday, February 23 2016 February 23, 2016 6:36 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Kristen Althouse

BATON ROUGE - The Baton Rouge Area Foundation has apparently decided to go around the Metro Council with its plans to build a health district in Baton Rouge.

Councilwoman and Planning Commissioner Tara Wicker told WBRZ News 2 that BRAF pulled the item from the Metro Council's agenda.

This comes after a lot of outrage at the Feb. 17th Planning and Zoning meeting about the plan to build the health district in south Baton Rouge, while North Baton Rouge is still without emergency care.  

BRAF requested a change to the zoning designation, and the decision was deferred for 90 days. BRAF does not need the council's approval to go forward with most of its plans.  

The health care district would use existing infrastructure to redevelop the corridor including Essen Lane, Perkins Road, and Bluebonnet Boulevard. The plan calls for the major healthcare providers in the city-parish, to work together to coordinate services. It also calls for road work to help traffic problems, and calls for medical education programs and an obesity center.  

Last week the NAACP officially opposed the creation of the health district, vowing to fight the construction. The NAACP says health services are being put out of the reach of people in North Baton Rouge.

BRAF's Communications Director Mukul Verma was not immediately available to make a comment.

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