Property owners in a recently created crime prevention district in Baton Rouge will vote Nov. 19 on whether to enact a fee to fund security and beautification in their neighborhood.
The Jefferson Place/Bocage Crime Prevention and Improvement District is asking voters to approve an annual fee of $500 per household to be collected with property taxes, according to the legislation that created the district.
The fee would raise about $200,000 from the roughly 430 lots in the district, said Neil Buckingham, chairman of the security district.
The authority to collect the dues would expire in 10 years, at which point property owners would have to vote on whether to renew the fee, Buckingham said.
Homeowners who fail to pay the dues could face a lien on their homes, he said.
Buckingham said there is currently a $540 annual fee, which is paid by about 80 percent of property owners in the neighborhood.
The $500 fee would replace the current fee.
“This will make it ‘everybody participates, everybody benefits,’ ” Buckingham said.
The money raised from the fees would be used primarily to increase the number of security patrols conducted by off-duty police officers, Buckingham said.
Some of the money would also be used for landscaping in the area, Buckingham said.
The subdivisions included in the district are Bocage, Bocage Estates, Jefferson Place and The Cloisters, according to the district’s legislation.
The district is generally bounded by Murphy Drive to the west; Richards Drive to the south; Rienzi Boulevard to the north and McCarroll Drive to the east.
Early voting in the statewide Nov. 19 election starts Saturday and goes through Nov. 12.
The Broadmoor Crime Prevention and Improvement District was set to be included on the Nov. 19 ballot, but board members had to pull it in late October because of an issue with wording in the legislation.
Gary Littlefield, president of the Broadmoor Residents Association, said the East Baton Rouge Parish Assessor’s Office wanted the boundaries of the district to be more clearly defined.
Littlefield said the bill creating the district will be redrafted to make the changes and returned to the Legislature in the spring.