Holes in annexation request
BATON ROUGE- The maps depicting the area proposed to be annexed into city limits had some questioning the methods used to annex the areas from Baton Rouge General Hospital to the Mall of Louisiana.
The annexation leaves out four of the main stores in the mall, the anchor stores, like Macy's, Dillard's, Sears, and JC Penny.
"It's not at all gerrymandering, it's the simple fact that these companies couldn't get their signatures from their boards in time to join this petition, but they will be coming into the city. I guarantee it," said Metro Councilman John Delgado.
Leaders at the St. George Fire Protection District thinks the annexation will take a bite out of their budget, let alone leave them with an area they'll be forced to protect, without receiving tax dollars.
"It's a $130,000 [loss] today, tomorrow it'll be $200,000, the next week it'll be $300,000, when does it stop for the St. George Fire District, where does it stop, for the city of Baton Rouge to encroach upon us, and reduces our ability to do our job, because no one in the city parish is worried about us," said Jerry Tarleton, the Chief of the St. George Fire District.
John Delgado contends the mall approached the council to hedge against the unknown of St. George.
"They are coming to the city for safe harbor, they are looking for protection from the risky uncertainty of this St. George experiment. So when they come to us and say help protect us, protect our shareholders from the risks that are inherent from this new venture, I think it's incumbent on us to accept them," said Delgado.
The Chief tells News 2 they'll likely still be the first responders in the area, and will work, essentially, for free.