Business View Civil and Municipal | March 2021

94 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL MARCH 2021 It’s called The Settlement on Shoe Creek and it was approved under the previous administration with some controversy. When finished in several years, it’s going to have over 400 homes and 210 apartments, as well as a large commercial development. The first houses are being built now. It’s a major development that’s going to change the face of Central.” The city has been partnering with The Central Chamber of Commerce for assistance with its economic development; helping local businesses with retention and promotion. The majority of the city’s businesses are locally owned mom and pop stores. Barrow shares, “Especially in 2020 with COVID-19, we try to support our local businesses and remind people to shop local. We are proud that in the months since the pandemic began in March 2020, our sales tax revenues are up year-on-year 13 percent.” There are some exciting new businesses on the way, too. The community is always looking for ways to attract more and to increase sales revenues. “We rely on those revenues because we run our city differently than the majority of others,” says Barrow. “We privatize most of our city services to the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS), a nationwide company that assists local government agencies. They handle all of our permitting, public works, planning and zoning, licensing, and the day-to-day operations of the city. We have been privatized since being incorporated. We really only have three full- time city employees: myself, my assistant (our administrative officer), and the Police Chief Roger Corcoran. Privatizing the majority of our services has saved us a lot of money over the years, and in the future with longevity costs.” Saving money is essential, especially with city infrastructure improvements to consider. Highway 64 goes from East Baton Rouge Parish into Livingston Parish and part of that highway, Magnolia Bridge, is located in Central. Livingston Parish has been rapidly growing, so Central experiences high traffic volumes. Mayor, David Barrow