St. George organizers file for appeal

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 6:03 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Organizers for an incorporated St. George will take the next steps of filing for an appeal, believing they have the revenue and backup from law enforcement.

“As we have said, when we started this process, we are going to go as far as we have to go to win and form this city of St. George,” said Andrew Murrell.

Organizers from St. George, Andrew Murrell and Chris Rials, gave an update at the South East Baton Rouge Rotary. They say they will file for an appeal.

“We are way over funding issues that are not being reflective on what needs to be spent in our area. It’s a local government, local control is what we are after and we will deliver,” said Rials.

Rials and Murrell add that 54% of the people have voted to have their city break away from Baton Rouge.

Back in May, retired District Court Judge Martin Coady denied folks in the St. George area, ruling they could not split off from Baton Rouge and form their own city. The judge reasoned St. George would not be able to operate with a balanced budget.

“I mean the reality is the evidence, a trial from the testimony to the actual exhibits, all illustrate we have more sufficient revenue to provide the services we’ve said we will provide,” said Murrell.

If St. George were to pull away from Baton Rouge, its creation would cost the taxpayers of Baton Rouge $48 million a year.

Another concern included law enforcement. The idea would be for St. George to continue using East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, like other rural towns in the parish. Judge Coady’s ruled the City of St. George would need to provide additional public safety services. At this time, there is no such agreement and the cost is unknown.

“He said at the trial, the basic service will not change in the Sheriff’s Office. What he discussed was if we wanted additional services on top of the basic services that would be an agreement of the parties,” explained Murrell.

Organizers say they would have enough money if law enforcement needed it, and says the Sheriff’s Office was willing to work with them.

“He was more than willing to work with us, to increase the services that Andrew and I, the alderman and one of his deputies who helped set up he meeting itself,” added Rials.

WAFB reached out to EBRSO, they provided this statement:

WAFB also reached out to Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s office, they provided this statement:

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