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Residents want Watson to become a city

3 years 11 months 3 days ago July 21, 2013 Jul 21, 2013 Sunday, July 21 2013 July 21, 2013 9:25 AM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Troy Gaulden

WATSON - Residents in Watson have started a petition to make the community a city. They want more say-so in parish issues.

A group called Neighbors in Action (NIA) held a drive-thru petition signing Saturday to collect signatures.

"Things are changing out here. They know they're changing quickly, and if we don't incorporate we are going to get some changes out here that we don't want," said NIA member Darla Steagall.

One of the things the group opposes is the Baton Rouge Loop Project.

"We feel like it would be a disaster to put it through the middle of Watson. It's been said by some of those that are for the loop out of Baton Rouge Parish that we had no voice," said NIA President Gene Baker.

The main reason behind the push for Watson to become a city is so that the residents would have a voice.

"You have to have some ability to say, you know this is good, this is not good... that protects your property values...that protects our schools," said Baker.

Organizers say they're trying to preserve Watson after the community has seen a boom in population.

"It's a community that has values, the church, schools, low crime. Those are the things that have brought people here. We just want to maintain that," said Baker.

If enough signatures are collected, the proposed city limits of Watson would be the same as the current Live Oak school district. Residents would have to elect a mayor, police chief and other officials that make up a city. It could cost Watson residents more if the community becomes a city.

"Roughly $6-$7 a month per household so we're not talking about large numbers here," said Baker.

Neighbors in Action need to collect around 3,000 signatures from registered voters in the area in order to put the issue to a vote.


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