Watson one step closer to becoming a city
WATSON- Saturday, people here will begin the final push to get their community incorporated as a city.
"We need a voice to represent our community because our community is different from the other side of the parish, and right now we're just treated as one within several in the parish," said Darla Steagall.
For the next several Saturdays, a community group called Neighbors N Action, will be at businesses in Watson, collecting signatures from residents in the area.
Those signatures will help Watson get one step close to becoming the largest city in Livingston Parish.
"We have to get approximately 3500 signatures from the registered voters in the area," said Steagall.
Supporters believe it will give people in the community a voice.
"You don't want to always be against. You want to be for, but at the same time you need an opportunity to express, and we don't have that now," said Gene Baker with Neighbors N Action.
If incorporated, Watson would be about 35 square miles, and be home to 22,000 residents.
But not everyone is backing this idea.
"Thinking we're going to raise their property taxes or they may have to get rid of their livestock or we're going to tell them what they can't and can not do with their land and that is not the purpose," said Steagall.
The cost to run Watson with a mayor, police chief and rented facilities for a city hall would be about $500,000 a year.
One plan to raise that money, is to collect a 5% franchise fee on the area's electric bill, which would cost residents an additional $6.25 a month through DEMCO.
Saturday, April 13, the group will be at Watson Oak Point Market, Watson Wal-Mart, John's on Walker North, and Watson Inc. Headquarters on Hwy 16.