LETTER: Incorporation worth a look

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Having been a resident of the Central area for nearly 25 years, I am thankful we now control our future. In past years, I believe we did not receive our fair share of services for the tax dollars going into East Baton Rouge Parish. We also did not have control of the growth in our area, a similar important problem now facing the people of Prairieville.

Consequently, a move began a number of years ago to incorporate this area. Finally after numerous delays, the City of Central officially incorporated in April 23, 2005.

I am pleased to report that no taxes have gone up, no one has lost their homestead exemption and services are now being accomplished in a more timely and efficient manner. Through privatization of services, our young city of Central has only three or four full-time employees on the city payroll. The salaries and benefits for a mayor, elected by our citizens, and an administrative assistant and clerk help to keep the cost of government down. In our short time as a city, a surplus in excess of a million dollars has grown for the taxpayers. In terms of population the City of Central is approximately 27,000 and Prairieville is expected to be around 30,000.  People-wise, they would be about the same.

Speaking only from experience, I see the incorporation of Prairieville as an idea with much merit that absolutely should be explored. I am glad we did it here in Central. It was the right thing to do for this community and it may be right for Prairieville as well.

Randy Warren