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Central, Louisiana
Motto: "A community that cares"
Country  United States
State  Louisiana
Parish East Baton Rouge
Elevation 66 ft (20.1 m)
Coordinates 30°33′16″N 91°02′12″W / 30.55444°N 91.03667°W / 30.55444; -91.03667
Area 62.5 sq mi (161.9 km²)
 - land 62.2 sq mi (161 km²)
 - water 0.3 sq mi (1 km²)
Population 26,864 (2010)
Density 431.6 /sq mi (166.6 /km²)
Mayor Junior Shelton (Republican)
 - Police Chief James Salsbury (Republican)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code 225

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.


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.


Central is located in the east-central part of East Baton Rouge. The eastern boundary follows the Amite River, which forms the border with Livingston Parish.

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.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total area of Central is 62.5 square miles (161.9 km2), of which 62.2 square miles (161.2 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km2), or 0.44%, is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2010 26,864
Est. 2015 28,295 5.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
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