Future of Green Light Plan to be determined at August meetings

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BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Mayor's Office has pitched a plan to extend the Green Light Plan program, and this time around, the aim is to have property owners foot the bill for the series of road improvement projects.

Since 2005, hundreds of millions of dollars have paid for additional roads and improvements to existing streets throughout East Baton Rouge Parish.

Burbank Drive is just one of the roads that saw widening work completed thanks to Green Light Plan within the past decade. The list of future projects keeping growing, and that cost is adding up.

Residents who live in areas that are desperately in need of infrastructure improvement, such as North Baton Rouge, are optimistic that the plan can be extended and be made to work for them.

While widening roads is a common part of improvements called for in the plan, other residents are eager to see their neighborhoods improved by the addition of sidewalks.

To fund the plan going forward, the EBR Mayor's Office wants to create a new tax for road improvements, extending the current half-cent sales tax in addition to jacking up property taxes.

The first of 12 meetings called to direct the future of the program saw residents turn out to say they're behind the program. Due to the successful past of the series of projects, many taxpayers say they're more than willing to spend the extra cash.

Eleven more meetings across the parish's 12 district will happen through the month of August. The Metro Council will hear the final recommendations generated by those meetings and the public's input in September. Voters will make the final decision when the extra tax appears on ballots this December.


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