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Feds asking city-parish leaders to sign NDA amid push for new stormwater fee, officials say

1 year 9 months 1 week ago Monday, October 10 2022 Oct 10, 2022 October 10, 2022 1:34 PM October 10, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Federal regulators asked East Baton Rouge leaders to sign a non-disclosure agreement blocking them from discussing certain aspects of a proposed drainage plan that would create a new fee for property owners. 

WBRZ learned Monday that the EPA asked members of the East Baton Rouge Metro Council and the mayor's office to sign the NDA, though it wasn't clear what kind of information was being kept secret. It's unknown who signed the agreement so far, but a city-parish spokesperson said members of the mayor's office had signed.

At least one council member told WBRZ they were asked to sign the NDA but did not plan to do so.

The mayor formally introduced the proposal last week, which would add a new "stormwater utility fee" to residents' property tax bills. A decision whether to approve the new fee — which the city estimates would come out to roughly $10 a month per property owner — will be left up to the metro council, which is set to vote on the measure Oct. 26. 

The matter will be introduced at the metro council on Oct. 12 and there are several scheduled district-specific meetings between now and the final vote. 

During a press conference last week, the mayor said the fee was a necessary step to keep the federal government from seizing control of the city-parish's drainage plan. 

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