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New subdivisions in Ascension Parish will have to pay for their own roads

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GONZALES- The Ascension Parish Council passed a measure Thursday night that would require brand new subdivisions to either make their roads private or the parish will collect a fee to maintain them. That money would only be used for that subdivision.

The new measure would not apply to existing subdivisions or subdivisions that have already been approved by the parish.

"In the past three and a half years, we've accepted 17 miles of roads into the parish system," Councilman Aaron Lawler said. "We get six to eight million a year for road maintenance and construction. That gets us nowhere. That's why we have a lot of subdivision roads that are falling apart and no money to maintain them."

The fee would be in addition to whatever the homeowner association fees are for those particular subdivisions. It would be collected by the parish and would only be used to maintain the roads in the subdivisions that the money was collected from.

Tricia Broussard is a realtor with Team Smith, EXP. She fears the extra costs could stifle the parish's growth.

"Essentially it's more of a tax," Broussard said. "We're already being taxed. We're in Ascension Parish. Everywhere we turn there's a new tax...which is good we are growing. We are having growing pains, but at the expense of our homebuyers they aren't going to be able to continue to afford to buy homes out here if the taxes continue to increase."

The millage fee to maintain a brand new subdivision's roads could be assessed as high as 15 mils per homeowner. That would be approximately $260 per year on a home valued at $250,000.

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