Metro Council Nixes BTR Plan Ballot Item

Sharon Weston Broome WBRZ

Voters in East Baton Rouge Parish will not face a ballot question this fall dealing with funding for the Better Transportation and Roads plan offered up by Mayor Sharon Weston Broome.

The Metro Council was evenly split on the idea at yesterday's meeting, the property tax hike question to fund the $445 million plan needing at least seven votes to get on the November ballot.

It received support from only five council members.

WBRZ News 2 received this statement from Broome after the decision:

While I am disappointed that the majority of the Metro Council chose not to put the Better Transportation and Roads (BTR) Plan on voters’ ballots, I respect their decision as a fellow elected official. I still believe voters should be allowed to make the decision about whether they support this plan. I remain positive that my administration and the Council can collaborate on future initiatives to address the issues faced by our citizens in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The BTR Plan received the endorsement of neighborhood and professional organizations, including the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and the Greater Baton Rouge chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). It was also apparent that many citizens were in favor of the BTR Plan, as displayed in the public informational meetings we held in each district. In light of this support and awareness of the critical need to address our infrastructure needs, my administration will continue to seek and present ways that will effectively address the issue of traffic and the lack of connected mobility in our community. We will also ensure that plans are fiscally responsible and in the best interest of taxpayers.

My administration will continue to move forward to seek solutions for not only our community’s traffic issues, but public safety, housing and other quality of place factors.

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