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Metro Council to talks pay raises, sidewalks and pageants

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BATON ROUGE - There is a packed agenda for Wednesday's Metro Council meeting.

The council could decide to put more money in the pockets of city workers. They will vote on a pay raise today that was promised by Mayor Kip Holden. Everyone but the firefighter's union had agreed to the terms, but they're expected to vote on the deal today.

Raises would vary from 2-4%. A study conducted two years ago found City-Parish workers are some of the most underpaid government workers in the south.

Also on the council agenda, putting up money to bring a big event back to the capital city. The mayor wants the Miss USA Pageant to once again call Baton Rouge home.

Mayor Holden is asking for $280,000 for expenses related to this year's pageant, but neither the mayor nor pageant officials will will confirm if it is going to be here again.

Visit Baton Rouge says occupancy at hotels rose by 9% during the two weeks the pageant was in town. More than 5.5 million Americans watched the pageant on television.

While the funding will be discussed tonight, a vote is not expected until the April 8th meeting.

The city is also moving forward with plans to add sidewalks along Gardere Lane. Over the past few years, people have been hit and killed walking near or in the road because there are no sidewalks.

The Metro Council already approved the work in January. The state is working with the city to get the project done.

The project is expected to take a year to complete.

 

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