The City of Youngsville is considering a plan to annex a commercial area inside St. Martin Parish that’s estimated to be worth about $60 million dollars.
That plan though isn’t sitting well with everyone though.
St. Martin Parish President Chester Cedars says the City of Youngsville has been nothing but transparent and cordial with him in discussing the concept, but as of right now, there reason for the potential annexation is not valid.
“I have serious qualms and problems with this idea or this concept. I do not believe it fits within the purposes of annexation quite honestly,” said Cedars.
The area being considered lies along both sides of U.S. 90 / Evangeline Thruway just south of Broussard.
It’s industrial and commercial properties only with Acadiana major businesses such as Baker Hughe’s, Reagan Power and Compression and St. Martin Truck Stop and Casino.
“Annexations have never been and should never be for revenue purposes. And, I do not believe from looking at what I’ve seen that the purpose of this annexation is anything but revenue,” said Cedars.
Cedars says a valid reason for annexation is the logical growth of a municipality.
The expanding municipality would also need to provide enhanced critical services to the area.
However, Youngsville’s mayor Ken Ritter says enhanced services is what the city plans to bring to the table.
“We’re looking at the area that’s boundaries of our existing city limits. So, it’s contiguous and we’re evaluating the proposal to see how close are our emergency services to the extent of this footprint as well,” said Ritter.
If the area is annexed, the several dozen businesses will have to pay an additional 2.5 percent sales tax.
Cedars says that would not be business friendly.
“You need to be very cautious before taxes are imposed upon business or other entities without there being a valid return,” said Cedars.
However, Ritter disagrees.
“If we can draw a business case to say that they will enjoy an improved fire rating, and therefore lower property taxes because of the better fire rating, there may be some rationale there that they could say well, you know this is not really in our area of strategic growth for St. Martin, but it does make sense for the city of Youngsville that is growing that way,” said Ritter.