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Annexation becomes latest heated debate after St. George vote

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BATON ROUGE – Post-election, the fight over the City of St. George has moved to property lines and city boundaries.

Tuesday, either side solicited property owners to petition for annexation into either the Baton Rouge city limits or the boundaries of what will eventually be St. George.

“We are getting numerous inquiries about how [property owners] can annex in to St. George from the unincorporated areas,” St. George’s Andrew Murrell said Tuesday.

Murrell said he’s also taken questions about how property owners could annex out of Baton Rouge and be gobbled up by St. George.

A maneuver the opponents were also suggesting to those against the incorporation effort Tuesday.

“If you're not adjacent and we can't necessarily get you a path of annexation, you can request to be de-annexed [out of St. George],” ONE BTR advocate ME Cormier said.

The de-annexation process is long, complicated and will likely end up in lawsuits, experts have suggested.

Generally speaking, it’s a much easier process for people in unincorporated East Baton Rouge to petition to move into either city so long as their property abuts the city limits.

"Any individual property owner who's adjacent to Baton Rouge city limits, any street, or any neighborhood that's adjacent can request to be annexed into the city of baton rouge," said Cormier.

In a separate interview, Murrell said nearly the same thing about St. George.

The entire process, though, a gripping one for local government. The parish attorney’s office said it plans to review annexation, deannexation and incorporation law.

Cormier said anti-St. George organizers would take an annexation issue to court but were not clear on who would fund a lawsuit. 

St. George organizers are scheduled to meet with the mayor next week.  A meeting originally set for Friday was rescheduled because of a scheduling conflict, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome told St. George supporters in a letter dated Tuesday.

     > Read the letter HERE


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