Trial underway for proposed City of St. George
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The trial to challenge the incorporation of the City of St. George began Monday, May 2, at the 19th Judicial District Courthouse.
Judge Martin Cody is presiding over the case
Most of the questions at the start of the trial came from the attorneys for Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. They wanted to show how much they say Baton Rouge would be negatively affected should St. George become a reality.
While being questioned by Broome’s attorneys, it was revealed the St. George petition to become its own city does not outline any business plan. Chris Rials, the vice-chairman of the petition, said the plan is still in the works. If the city does actually get created, St. George hopes to remain part of Baton Rouge’s sewer and consolidated garbage districts.
However, the mayor’s team argued Baton Rouge would take a massive financial blow, claiming nearly $44 million would be lost in taxes and that lost money would need to be taken out of the general fund for services. It would affect services like building crews, transportation, drainage, and street maintenance.
Chief Murphy Paul also testified about how badly BRPD is already hurting when it comes to trying to pay its officers more to keep them from either retiring or resigning. He added creating St. George would only make that problem worse and it would, in turn, have a ripple effect on the community.
More about what organizers of St. George are proposing for their city is expected Tuesday. The trial could take all week. And even then, whatever is decided will likely be appealed.
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