|Motto: "A community that cares"|
|Parish||East Baton Rouge|
|Elevation||66 ft (20.1 m)|
|Area||62.5 sq mi (161.9 km2)|
|- land||62.2 sq mi (161 km2)|
|- water||0.3 sq mi (1 km2)|
|Density||431.6/sq mi (166.6/km2)|
|Mayor||Junior Shelton (Republican)|
|- Police Chief||James Salsbury (Republican)|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
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. The population of Central was 26,864 as of the 2010 census.
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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.
By 2015 the city had about 28,000 residents.
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.
Government and infrastructure
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. At first the city contracted with CH2M Hill for city services, but in 2011 it switched to IBTS. 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 Central Fire Protection District #4 operates fire stations and provides fire protection services.
Primary and secondary schools
Residents are zoned to the Central Community School District.
The city's public schools are:
- Bellingrath Hills Elementary
- Tanglewood Elementary
- Central Intermediate
- Central Middle School
- Central High School
Prior to the acquisition:
- Bellingrath Hills Elementary School served a section of eastern Central. Tanglewood Elementary School served a section of western Central. Other schools serving Central included Greenbrier Elementary School, Northeast Elementary School, and White Hills Elementary School.
- Central Middle School served a large section of central Central, but other portions were zoned to other schools, including Glen Oaks Middle School and Northeast Middle School.
- Most of Central was zoned to Central High School, but there were portions of far north Central and sections of southern Central zoned to other high schools: Belaire High School (to the south) and Northeast High School (to the north).
Private schools within Central's School District boundaries include:
- Central Christian Academy
- Central Private School
- St. Alphonsus Catholic School
- MTI School of Ministry
- Galilee Baptist Academy
East Baton Rouge Parish Library operates the Central Branch. The library first opened in the W.R. Edwards Store in 1940. The store needed room for expansion, so the library closed in 1944, and 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, built in 1971 by L. W. Eaton and across from Eaton's shopping center, 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, was designed by Grace & Hebert Architects, Inc. and 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.
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- Barry Ivey, current Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Central
- Will Hayden (in Greenwell Springs)
- City of Central official website
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Central city, Louisiana". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- McClure, Olivia (2015-07-07). "Ten years after becoming a city, Central is growing but getting by with 2% sales tax, 3 city employees". The Advocate. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
- "CentralFireMap_2015.jpg." Central Fire Protection District #4. Retrieved on January 7, 2017.
- "Central." U.S. Postal Service. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "13515 HOOPER RD BATON ROUGE, LA 70818-2912"
- "Greenwell Springs." U.S. Postal Service. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "22801 GREENWELL SPRINGS RD GREENWELL SPRINGS, LA 70739-9998"
- "CENTRAL COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD v. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD." Louisiana Court of Appeals. Retrieved on January 6, 2017. "The Central Community School Board shall begin actual operation of providing for the education of students within its jurisdiction on July 1, 2007. "Beginning on the date the school board begins actual operation of providing for the education of students and thereafter, ․ all lands, buildings, and improvements, facilities, and other property having title vested in the public and subject to management, administration, and control by the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board for public education purposes but located within the geographic boundaries of the Central community school system or used to provide student transportation services to such facilities, or both, shall be managed, administered, and controlled by the Central Community School Board." and "The four schools located in Central are: Central High School[...]"
- "City Maps & Directories." City of Central. Retrieved on January 6, 2017. Note the map at the bottom: "Proposed Central Incorporation" - the city incorporated in 2005 and this was the proposed boundary which came to fruition
- "mapselema-l.pdf." East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools. April 26, 2005. Retrieved on January 6, 2017. p. 4/26 has the map for Bellingrath Hills Elementary School. Greenbrier's map is on page 18/26.
- "mapselemm-z.pdf." East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools. April 26, 2005. Retrieved on January 6, 2017. p. 15/23 has the map for Tanglewood Elementary School. Northeast is on p. 5/23 and White Hills is on p. 21/23.
- "mapsmiddle.pdf." East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools. April 26, 2005. Retrieved on January 6, 2017. p. 3/13 has the map for Central Middle School. Glen Oaks is on page 6/13 and Northeast Middle School is on page 8/13.
- "mapshigh.pdf." East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools. April 26, 2005. Retrieved on January 6, 2017. p. 4/12 has the map for Central High School. Belaire High is at 1/12, and Northeast is at 8/12.
- "Central Branch Library." East Baton Rouge Parish Library. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "11260 Joor Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70818"
- "Greenwell Springs Road Regional Branch Library." East Baton Rouge Parish Library. Retrieved on January 7, 2017. "11300 Greenwell Springs Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70814"
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Representative Barry Ivey". house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- Gyan, Joe Jr. (2017-05-11). "Will Hayden, ex-'Sons of Guns star, sentenced to life in prison plus 40 years on Baton Rouge rape convictions". The Advocate (Louisiana). Retrieved 2017-05-14.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Central City, Louisiana.|