Voters approved four new crime prevention districts in East Baton Rouge Parish on Saturday night, continuing the trend of neighborhoods opting to tax themselves to pay for additional police patrols.
The four new districts are for subdivisions scattered around the city. Goodwood Homesites and Villa del Rey subdivisions are on opposite sides of Cortana Mall. University Acres is a neighborhood not far from LSU and the Tara subdivision is off Old Hammond Highway.
Homeowners living in the boundaries of the districts will now pay annual parcel fees to fund crime prevention and neighborhood beautification initiatives. Generally the funds are used to pay for additional police patrols, but they can also be used for lighting, signage and cameras.
The fees range from lows of $100 per household at Tara or $150 for the first year at Villa del Rey and Goodwood Homesites, to $365 in University Acres. Voters are signing up for multiple years, from five years for Goodwood to 15 years at University Acres, along with agreeing to possible increases.
In the first year, the fees are expected to generate about $56,000 at Tara and Goodwood; $78,000 at University Acres and $118,000 for Villa del Rey.
The Saturday vote brings the total number of crime prevention districts in East Baton Rouge Parish to 19.
Concord Estates was the parish’s first active crime prevention district, approved by voters in 2004. It started off small by collecting just about $7,150 for off-duty police protection. This year, the 15 crime protection districts are expected to generate $1.4 million for extra neighborhood safety initiatives.
Here’s a break down of the new districts:
University Acres will levy a 15-year fee for homeowners to start at $365 per year and can be increased to as much as $500. It’s expected to generate $78,840 in the first year.
Villa Del Rey’s fee, starting at $150, will continue over 10 years. It could be increased 10 percent every year with a cap of $250, generating $118,125 in the initial year.
Tara subdivision’s annual fee will start at $100. It could be increased by 10 percent every year with a cap of $200 annually. A 10-year assessment, the fee is expected to generate $56,610 in the first year.
The Goodwood Homesites crime district was authorized for five years and will mandate homeowners pay $150 per year and commercial property owners to pay $450 per year. Those fees could each increase another $50. The district is expected to collect $56,200 in its first year.