Council votes 9-3 to approve annexation, will take effect 30 days

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - In a capacity-filled chamber, Baton Rouge Metro Council voted to approve annexation of the Mall of Louisiana, the Baton Rouge General and Our Lady of the Lake Hospital Wednesday night.

The council meeting featured nearly two hours of public comments followed by a passionate plea from Mayor Kip Holden who reminded the council the current St. George movement comes after the he says the parish spent millions of dollars repairing the infrastructure in the area.

"Three-hundred million dollars was spent in those areas that now say well we want to create our own city. Three hundred million dollars from taxpayers all over East Baton Rouge Parish. >

Members of council then sounded off on the issue including Denise Marcelle, who made a motion to approve the annexation.

"St. George has also filed a petition to become a new city. I'm not going to stand in the way of that petition neither am I going to stand in the way of them asking to be annexed in," said Marcelle.

Councilman Buddy Amoroso however made a substitute motion to postpone the vote.

"That's my motion to defer this 30 days and let us come back and vote on the merits of this after the research shows," said Amoroso.

Amoroso's motion failed and then the ordinance calling for the annexation was once again called to the table. By a majority vote of 9 to 3,  the Metro Council signed off on the annexation with Mayor Pro-Tem Chandler Loupe, Ryan Heck and Amoroso being the only three council members to vote no.

According to the parish attorney's office the measure will go into effect in 30 days.

A tweet following the vote from the official St. George movement account said, "We are moving forward. This annexation will not invalidate our petition effort. Now the money shouldn't be an issue anymore for Baton Rouge."

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