"A community that cares"
Location of Central in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
|Parish||East Baton Rouge|
|o Mayor||David Barrow (Republican)|
|o Police Chief||Roger Corcoran (Republican)|
|o Total||62.53 sq mi (161.95 km2)|
|o Land||62.26 sq mi (161.24 km2)|
|o Water||0.27 sq mi (0.71 km2)|
|Elevation||66 ft (20 m)|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||471.55/sq mi (182.06/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Central is the thirteenth-largest city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the second largest city in East Baton Rouge Parish. Central became the state's newest city in April 2005. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2019 the city estimated its population at 29,357 residents.
Long an unincorporated suburb of Baton Rouge, the citizens of Central voted to incorporate as a city on April 23, 2005, despite opposition from the parish. The U.S. Postal Service allows residents to use "Central, LA" with their current ZIP code.
Businessperson Russell Starns stated that the incorporation of Central, which took place in 2005, was a byproduct of the area's desire to establish a school system separate from East Baton Rouge Parish's; the Louisiana State Legislature allowed Central to operate a separate school system only after the city incorporated; Starns was the person who headed the incorporation movement.
It had about 25,000 residents when it incorporated. Former Central High School principal Shelton "Mac" Watts became the temporary mayor upon the incorporation of the city. Formal elections were held on April 1, 2006, in which voters chose incumbent Watts with 86 percent of the 18,000 votes cast.
In November 2006, the voters of the state passed a constitutional amendment authorizing the creation of the Central Community School District. The amendment authorized Central to govern its own public school system. Central operates its own police and fire departments. Other services, such as water, sewerage and trash, are still operated by the city-parish. Utilities are provided by DEMCO and Entergy.
On January 9, 2007, Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed the interim members of the new Central Community School Board. The board appointed Mike Faulk as the first superintendent. The new school system began operation on July 1, 2007.
WAFB wrote "Central was one of the areas of East Baton Rouge Parish that sustained significant flooding" in regards to the 2016 Louisiana floods. Mayor Jr. Shelton stated that the number of people living in Central with complications from the flooding was 25,000.
Central is located in the east-central part of East Baton Rouge. It is situated between two rivers with the Comite River on its west border and the Amite River, which forms the border with Livingston Parish. These two rivers converge at the bottom of the city.
Louisiana Highway 408 passes through the center of Central, leading west 7 miles (11 km) to Interstate 110 in the northern part of Baton Rouge. Downtown Baton Route is 13 miles (21 km) southwest of Central. Louisiana Highway 37 passes through the eastern part of Central, leading northeast 30 miles (48 km) to Greensburg, southwest 8 miles (13 km) to Monticello, and southwest 18 miles (29 km) to Baton Rouge.
The municipal government only has three direct employees: the mayor, an assistant, and an administrative officer. The remainder of city services are contracted to private companies. The municipal government's only source of revenue, as of 2015, is a 2% sales tax. This was instituted at its incorporation and, since that time, had not been revised.
The school district and fire department are funded separately and instituted independent taxing districts. The city government does not pay to maintain many of the roads as they are owned by the State of Louisiana and/or East Baton Rouge Parish.
The Police Department has only a small number of officers on duty at any given time with a majority of law enforcement being done by the East Baton Rouge Sheriffs Office and the Louisiana State Police.
The Central Fire Protection District #4 operates fire stations and provides fire protection services.
Residents are zoned to the Central Community School District.
The city's public schools are:
Prior to the acquisition:
Private schools within Central's School District boundaries include:
East Baton Rouge Parish Library operates the Central Branch Library. Central's first library opened in the W.R. Edwards Store in 1940. The store needed room for expansion, so the library closed in 1944. It restarted activities in a permanent building in November of the following year. The library moved to a 2,604-square-foot (241.9 m2) leased building on April 10, 1972. The library purchased that building in 1982. The current library, with 18,263 square feet (1,696.7 m2) of space, opened in June 2002.
"CentralSpeaks" and "Central City News" are two of the locally produced weekly newspaper(s) in Central. The Advocate is the official journal of the city.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2015)
In 1962 the mission was established as a new parish [...] Only one year after its inception, a parish school with 131 students in grades one to four was opened.- Logically this means the school opened in 1963