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Proposition 1 Only Item on Tuesday’s Ballot

July 31, 2015 Featured, Politics/Policy 1 Comment

ivotedIf you’re like me you’ve received several glossy mailers supporting Proposition 1  — the only item on Tuesday’s ballot.  Here’s the official ballot language:

Shall the following be adopted: Proposition to issue bonds of the City of St. Louis, Missouri in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Eighty Million Dollars ($180,000,000) for the purpose of funding a portion of the cost of acquiring certain real property for, and purchasing, replacing, improving, and maintaining the buildings, vehicles, and equipment of, the City, the St. Louis Police Department, Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services, and other City departments and for maintaining the safety and security of the jails and improving public safety; for funding a portion of the costs of reconstructing, repairing and improving streets, bridges, and sidewalks; for funding a portion of the costs of infrastructure development and of demolition and abatement of various abandoned or condemned buildings owned by or under the control of the City of St. Louis or its related agencies; for funding a portion of the cost of city owned building stabilization and preservation; for funding a portion of the costs of home repair programs; for funding ward capital improvements; for funding a portion of the cost of paying for economic development and site development infrastructure, and for paying incidental costs of such work and of issuing the Bonds.

Here’s what it means, via the League of Women Voters:

The City wants to borrow $180 million to make significant repairs, improvements, and reconstruction, equipment upgrades in addition to upgrades of public safety equipment, vehicles, condemned and abandoned property demolition and abatement, and numerous other projects. Specific projects include municipal court improvements, replacement of fire trucks, a secure and centralized 911 center, corrections department updates, city building improvements, and home repair programs. In addition the city’s wards would get $10 million for aldermen to share and spread throughout the city’s neighborhoods.

The $180 million bond would be funded through a property tax increase. For example, a homeowner with a property tax bill based on $80,000 (home and vehicle) will pay approximately $28 more in annual property tax. Someone with a current property tax bill based on $140,000 would pay an additional $50 each year. A property tax bill based on $275,000 would have a $97 annual increase. The City last passed a general obligation bond in 1999.

Proponents say that it is time to reinvest in St. Louis. These improvements are long overdue and much needed to continue delivery of critical services, maintain the City’s financial health, and save millions of dollars in annual maintenance. They also say that repairs are particularly needed around the old Pruitt-Igo housing complex in north St. Louis since the City wants to have that site approved by the federal government for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Western headquarters.

Opponents say added ward money, home repairs and demolition programs, work against the central purpose of the bond issue, which is to repair the city’s roads, streets and bridges and to upgrade equipment for police and firefighter equipment.

I voted absentee in favor — I think the positives outweigh the negatives.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    I’d be tempted to vote no just because they’re holding an election with just a single issue on the ballot. One, it’s money (that the city apparently needs) being spent to put on an election, just to ask the voters for more money. And two, with a low-interest issue, there will be low voter turnout (likely in the low teens, at best), so it will hardly be a true reflection of the sentiments of most residents. Better to wait . . .

     

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