BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The city of Baton Rouge could soon be getting a huge lift to its city tax base as the Mall of Louisiana and Baton Rouge General have asked to be annexed into the city.
The petition for annexation was confirmed in a statement Monday by a Baton Rouge General spokesperson.
"Baton Rouge General's board of trustees has decided to submit a joint petition with the Mall of Louisiana for annexation into the city of Baton Rouge."
Baton Rouge Metro Councilman John Delgado, who has publicly opposed efforts to incorporate St. George, says the decision by the mall and Baton Rouge General leaders makes perfect sense.
"This is a first good step in allowing people to make up their own minds about whether or not they want to be part of this unknown, future city or they want to stick with what they do know, which is the city of baton rouge and consolidated government which has been able to provide great services to the people of this parish for many years," said Delgado.
Lionel Rainey is the spokesman for the movement to form St. George and told WAFB by phone he believes the annexation of the mall and hospital into Baton Rouge would make the thousands of petitions his group has gathered supporting St. George invalid. Rainey did not speak on camera. He referred WAFB to a statement on the group's Face Book page.
"This is nothing more than the Baton Rouge city parish government yet again trying to inject themselves into the legal, petition process and deny over 70,000 registered voters the right to vote. This is city government and politics at its very worst."
Delgado disagrees saying the push to make St. George a city by definition denies many others in the parish from having input on the issue.
The other three quarters of the parish have no voice in whether or not St. George gets created so why should I be sympathetic to someone who is trying to force the rest of the parish to live with their decisions. I want each individual to be able to make their own decisions," said Delgado.
Delgado adds we will know later this week if the measure to annex the Mall of Louisiana and Baton Rouge General will be placed on the May 14 Metro Council agenda or moved to the meeting scheduled for May 28.