Baton Rouge residents living in Broadmoor will vote Nov. 6 on whether to pass a parcel fee to fund security and improvement projects for the Broadmoor Crime Prevention and Improvement District.
The fee is expected to raise more than $200,000 annually for the district by levying a $100 parcel fee.
The district was formed last year after it was approved by the Legislature, and the vote on the parcel fee was originally set for 2011. However, crime district board members had to pull the measure shortly before the election because of issues with wording in the legislation that defined the district’s boundaries.
The legislation now defines the district as containing the subdivisions of Broadmoor, East Broadmoor, North Broadmoor Circle, Broadmoor Oaks, Broadmoor Place, Broadmoor Terrace, Oak Hill, South Broadmoor, Clarice Browning Arnold Tract and Broadmoor Estates.
The district is generally bounded by Florida Boulevard to the north, Airline Highway to the west, Old Hammond Highway to the south and Sharp Road to east.
If passed, the fee would last for 10 years, when it would be up for renewal.
Gary Littlefield, president of the Broadmoor Residents Association and chairman of the board that oversees the district, said increasing private police patrols is the primary reason for levying the fee.
Littlefield said the Broadmoor Residents Association wants to be proactive and prevent crime from ever escalating in the area. He said consistent patrols would do just that.
“We’ve got a very safe neighborhood today. I’d like to keep it that way,” Littlefield said.
The proposed beautification projects in Broadmoor include changing or adding signs and some landscaping, Littlefield said. “It’s things that we can’t ask our fellow taxpayers to pay for, but we can certainly ask our residents to assist in paying for,” Littlefield said.
Littlefield said the parcel fee will also help Broadmoor’s revenue stream. He said less than 30 percent of the 2,000 homes in the neighborhood pay their annual dues voluntarily.
Comparatively, other neighborhoods in East Baton Rouge Parish that have created crime prevention and improvement districts have about 60 percent of residents voluntarily paying dues, Littlefield said.
“That really hurts our ability to do a lot of things,” he said. “We have limited revenues. We’ve probably been in that zone since I’ve been on and off the board since 1987.”
Littlefield said the board has seen little opposition to the formation of the district or vote on the parcel fee. He said in six public forums about the district, only two people showed up, and both were in favor of passing it.
Attempts to reach Metro Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis and state Rep. Erich Ponti, who sponsored the crime district legislation, for comment on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
“I think there’s a lot of people that want to see us get the work done and get this legislation passed,” Littlefield said.
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