Metro Council approves BikeShare, increases blight fines, tackles flooding issues

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Metro Council had a busy meeting Wednesday night, advancing several important items on the agenda.

Members approved the Baton Rouge BikeShare program that will bring hundreds of bicycles to the Capital City.

The city will add dozens of docking stations throughout downtown, LSU, and Southern University. A federal grant will cover 80 percent of the cost (about $590,000), and the city will cover the other 20 percent.

RELATED: Baton Rouge to get nearly $600K in federal funding for BikeShare Program

Council members also approved a measure to increase the fines against people with blighted properties. The change allows judges to impose a $1000 first-time penalty for violating the ordinance prohibiting accumulating junk, trash, and debris.

Earlier in the meeting, the council voted against Ralph Hennessy as the permanent director of the Baton Rouge Metro Airport. Members voted in favor of a nationwide search to fill the position, but several members believe Hennessy will ultimately get the job.

The council voted to approve changes to the city code that will require developers to plan for a 25-year storm, which members say is the first step in the council's plans to fight flooding issues in the parish.

The original proposition required 10 percent more floodplain storage, but that was taken out. Members promise more proposals to fight flooding.

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