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Ald. Roddy on the Euclid Streetscape Plan

Last Monday I attended a long public meeting on the Euclid Streetscape and wrote up my thoughts. Although I had a number of positive things to say it was mostly a critical take, offering criticism others may not know to suggest or be too afraid of offending someone. I, inevitably, offend people with my direct views. One such person was simply known as “CWE1”. This person suggested I was spreading misinformation.

My personal preference is not to rely on my notes for project details, opting instead to link to a website or perhaps a PDF document containing all the facts relevant to a project. That frees me up to talk about the design theory, the thought process (or often lack of), missing details and finally offering suggestings for improvement. Unfortunately, in the case of the proposed Euclid Streetscape no such basis exists — the public was not given any sort of fact sheet on the project nor is anything provided on the web for me to link to so that you, as the reader, can verify details for yourself. One such area where CWE1 says I am incorrect is how the study is funded, I wrote in my original piece:

These funds, as I understand it, came from an increase in the taxes on the property where we have the new Park East Tower high-rise. A diverse group of stakeholders were involved at the start of the project on November 9th.

To which CWE1 replied:

The funds being used for the Euclid project do not come from an increase in taxes on the Park East Tower property.

I then responded with:

You misunderstood the taxes comment relative to the Park East. The money for the design fees and some other projects, roughly $500K, are from an incremental increase in the taxes in the area due to the Park East. The land was vacant and city-owned before so the taxes are all new — an increment higher than before. As I mentioned, the actual work would be done via a grant from East-West Gateway using Federal funds.

CWE1 once again insisted he/she was correct with:

I repeat that the money for the design fees and other projects does not come from an incremental increase in the taxes. The Park East Tower has set up a CID and is receiving tax abatement. The $500K was a lump-sum contribution based on a percentage of the subsidy. If you have questions about the financing, I suggest a call to the development agency.

Again, I try to be very accurate with details such as the source of funding. If I am uncertain, I either don’t bring it up or try to verify. After sitting through a long meeting and taking extensive notes I thought I had the various nuances down. CWE1 disagrees, the source of the funds being just one example. So where did I get my information and can I back it up? Well, from Ald. Joe Roddy and yes I can.

Here is a short video (less than 5 minutes) of Ald. Joe Roddy starting off the meeting on the Euclid Streetscape, he discusses the “increment” at 2:50:


So, CWE1, if any misinformation is being spread about this project it is either from Ald. Roddy or from you. I’m not sure which.  I regret that I did not record the full meeting to be able to good definitive answers to other areas of contention.

If the CWE-Midtown Development Corporation, or their communications consultant Vector Communications, wants to send me a fact sheet to set the record straight on this project I will be more than happy to publish anything and everything they send me. Given neither the development corp nor Ald. Roddy have a website of their own, it is the least I can do to help them communicate with the tax paying public.


Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. john says:

    Projected costs? Who pays for it? Should this small area receive special treatment? Who is CWE-Midtown Corp.?

    [UrbanReviewSTL — They said their federal “T-21” grant application would be between $1.8 million and $3.0 million.  The CWE-Midtown Development Corp is one of those public-private entities that we have all over the region to focus on specific areas.]    

  2. A. Nonymous says:

    Sounds like the two of you are talking about slightly different things using very similar words. To me, CWE1 is trying to say that there was not a tax increase on the Park East above and beyond what would ‘normal’ property taxes would be while you’re pointing out that the project is being funded by $500,000 that came from the ‘new’ taxes generated by the Park East being built. Either it’s that, or they just don’t like being called out for spending tax-payer money in this manner.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I think you are correct, it is likely just the semantics.   I used the words I did because those where the words from Ald. Roddy — a TIF is called Tax Increment Financing for a reason.  And TIFs are often used for infrastructure improvements as are CIDs.]

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