Series of public meetings to determine direction for Green Light Plan
BATON ROUGE - Mayor-President “Kip” Holden has scheduled a slew of 12 public meetings next month to gather public input ahead of the beginning of the next phase of the city’s Green Light Plan.
The Green Light Plan program is made up of a range of roadway infrastructure and citizen safety projects throughout East Baton Rouge Parish. It was created in May 2005 by Mayor Holden to address anticipated congestion and safety issues facing the city. It was extended in October 2005 when citizens voted to extend a half-cent sales tax for 23 years to go toward the plan.
The current proposal calls for a parish-wide 5-mill property tax over 30 years to fund an estimated $452-million in road and street improvements. An estimated $260 million of the project funding would come from bond sales, with the other $192 million coming in the form of pay-as-you-go revenue.
The Mayor’s Office says adding the proposed property tax to the existing sales tax would allow the program to continue at the same pace it has for its first decade when the sales tax was used exclusively for road improvements. An example calculated based on this proposed tax would $75 annually for the owner of a property assessed at $150,000.
A series of scheduled public meetings in each council district will allow residents to have their voices heard about possible future projects and funding solutions for the next phase of the plan. An informal open house setting will be used for all meetings, including one-on-one discussions and feedback between staff and the community.
After the meetings conclude in August, the Metro Council will consider a resolution in September. A tax election will follow in December where voters will make the final call.