New Arch To Riverfront Ramps Are A Great Improvement

 

 When I first moved to St. Louis in August 1990 the grand staircase down to our riverfront wasn’t complete — it was grass with steps only on the North & South edges. At some point the center steps were completed.But even as a young (20s) able-bodied person the steps were …

Sunday Poll: Should St. Louis Consider Ranked-Choice Voting?

 

 When you have two candidates running for office it is easy to understand the winner — the person who receives more than 50% of the vote — even if by just one vote. I’m looking at the March 7th Democratic primary ballot with 7 choices for mayor and 6 choices …

St. Louis’ Easton & Franklin Avenues Became Dr. Martin Luther King Drive 45 Years Ago Today

 

 Last month, on the Martin Luther King holiday, I posted my 13th look at the street named after the slain civil rights leader — see Annual Look At Changes Along St. Louis’ Dr Martin Luther King Drive. From a STL250 Facebook post that has since been deleted: This Day in …

Opinion: Sales Taxes Outdated In 21st Century

 

 We order stuff online frequently because it’s convenient to do so, not because we want to save on taxes. Often we’ll order from target.com so we pay the same tax rate we do when we shop at Hampton Village location once per month.  Amazon is the bulk of our online …

Recent Articles:

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Last Board Bills of 2016-2017 Session (275-309)

February 3, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Last Board Bills of 2016-2017 Session (275-309)
 
St. Louis City Hall
St. Louis City Hall

The ice storm a few weeks ago meant the Board of Aldermen didn’t meet as scheduled, throwing off their schedule and mine. So here are the board bills that have been introduced since my last posting on new bills:

  • B.B.#275 – Hubbard – An ordinance authorizing the execution of a Parcel Development Agreement by and among the City, Northside Regeneration, and Northside Urgent Care Property, and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#276 – Hubbard – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance and delivery of not to exceed $6,475,000 plus issuance costs principal amount of Tax Increment Revenue Notes (Northside Regeneration—Healthworks Hospital Project) Series 20___-A/B, of the City; prescribing the form and details of such notes and the covenants and agreements made by the City to facilitate and protect the payment thereof; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#277 – Number not used.
  • B.B.#278 – Krewson – An Ordinance designating a portion of the City as a redevelopment area known as the Northgate Redevelopment Area pursuant to the Real Property Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act;; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#279 – Krewson – An Ordinance affirming adoption of a redevelopment plan, redevelopment area, and redevelopment project; authorizing the execution of a redevelopment agreement between the City and Pace-Delmar Associates; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#280 – Krewson – An Ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance and delivery of not to exceed $4,374,377 plus issuance costs principal amount of tax increment revenue notes (Northgate Redevelopment Project) Series 20__-A/B, of The City; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#281 – Roddy – An ordinance adopting an Amended and Restated TIF Redevelopment Plan; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#282 – Roddy – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing the execution of an Amended and Restated Redevelopment Agreement between the City, and St. Louis Innovation District; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#283 – Roddy – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Mayor and the Comptroller to execute and deliver the Third Supplemental Trust Indenture; authorizing and directing the taking of other actions and approval and execution of other documents as necessary or desirable to carry out and comply with the intent hereof; superseding provisions of prior ordinances of the City to the extent inconsistent with the terms hereof; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#284 – Roddy – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance and delivery of one or more series of tax increment revenue notes (St. Louis Innovation District/RPA 5 Project) Series A and Series B (collectively, the “RPA 5 Notes”) in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $12,200,000, plus costs of issuance; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#285 – Roddy/Davis – An Ordinance designating a portion of the City, as a redevelopment area known as the Armory District Redevelopment Area pursuant to the Real Property Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act; approving a redevelopment plan and a redevelopment project; adopting tax increment financing within the redevelopment area; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#286 – Roddy/Davis – An Ordinance affirming adoption of a redevelopment plan, redevelopment area, and redevelopment project; authorizing the execution of a redevelopment agreement between the City and with Green Street Development Group; designating with Green Street Development Group, as developer of the redevelopment area; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#287 – Boyd – An ordinance authorizing the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners upon approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, to expend any funds received by the SLBEC from the 2016-2018 awarded by the Missouri Secretary of State to provide assistance to local election authorities to improve election processes with state funds to assist with election activities, systems and equipment maintenance, voting equipment purchases, maintaining voter lists and polling place accessibility; to fulfill the obligations of said Grant, limited to expenditures covered entirely by grant funds and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#288 – Villa – An Ordinance authorizing the execution of an amendment to the redevelopment agreement between the City and Carondelet Broadway TIF, Inc. for redevelopment of the Carondelet Coke Redevelopment Area; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#289 – Roddy/Davis – An Ordinance approving a petition for the creation of the Armory Community Improvement District; authorizing the district to impose district sales tax; finding a public purpose for the establishment of the Armory Community Improvement District; and containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#290 – Ingrassia An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and the Board of Public Service authorizing and directing the execution and delivery of a Stadium Project Financing, Construction and Lease Agreement by and among The City, SC STL, and the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of the City, pertaining to the design, construction, financing and leasing of a new multi-purpose stadium designed to host professional soccer and amateur sports, concerts, and community events to be located on property currently owned by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission as part of the I-64 at 22nd Street Interchange; containing an emergency clause and a severability clause.
  • B.B.#291 – Ingrassia – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment amending Ordinance no. 55390, approved August 16, 1969, as amended by Ordinance No. 55522, approved February 18, 1970, as amended by Ordinance No. 56178, approved June 21, 1972, as amended by Ordinance No. 56912, approved March 6, 1975, as amended by Ordinance No. 62515, approved February 21, 1992, as amended by Ordinance No. 65669, approved October 24, 2002, as amended by Ordinance No. 66772, approved July 18, 2005, and as amended by Ordinance No. 68380, approved June 16, 2009, pertaining to the entertainment license tax; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#292 – Ingrassia – An Ordinance pertaining to preventing passage to and from a health care facility and prohibiting activities near certain facilities; containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#293 – Ingrassia – An ordinance approving a blighting study and redevelopment plan for 2232-2256 South Grand Blvd.; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#294 – Flowers – An ordinance prohibiting use of smokeless tobacco at professional, collegiate, high school and organized amateur sporting events.
  • B.B.#295 – Ingrassia – An ordinance for public health and welfare creating a new Chapter in the St. Louis Municipal code to be entitled “Conversion Therapy” to prohibit licensed professionals from engaging in counseling, practices, or treatments with the goal to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity; and containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#296 – Tyus – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission on January 4, 2017, to change the zoning of property, from “B” Two-Family Dwelling District and “F” Neighborhood Commercial District to the “F” Neighborhood Commercial District only, in City Block 4455 (4967-71 Palm Street); and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#297 – Hubbard – An Ordinance designating a portion of the City as a redevelopment area known as the Jefferson Arms Redevelopment Area pursuant to the Real Property Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#298 – Hubbard – An Ordinance affirming adoption of a redevelopment plan, redevelopment area, and redevelopment project; authorizing the execution of a redevelopment agreement between the City and Alterra Jefferson Arms; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#299 – Hubbard – An Ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance and delivery of not to exceed $20,000,000 plus issuance costs principal amount of tax increment revenue notes (Jefferson Arms Redevelopment Project) Series 20__-A/B, of The City; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#300 – Roddy – An Ordinance Approving The Petition Of Various Owners Of Certain Real Property To Establish A Community Improvement District, Establishing The Kings-Oak Community Improvement District, and containing an emergency clause and a severability clause.
  • B.B.#301 – Tyus – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission, to change the zoning of property, from “A” Single- Family Dwelling District to the “F” Neighborhood Commercial District, in City Block 5090 (4547, 4901, 4903, 4905 & 4909 Geraldine Avenue); and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#302 – Coatar – An ordinance regarding certain Municipal Court operations; amending Ordinance 57839, Section Two, to be codified in the Revised Code at Chapter 1.12.045; repealing Section Seven of Ordinance 62779, as codified at Chapter 17.53.070 of the Code ; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#303 – Bosley – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service authorizing the 2017 St. Louis Works and the 50/50 Sidewalk Programs City Wide, appropriating $5,400,000.00 from the Street Improvement Fund; containing sections for description of the work, approval of plans and specifications, work and material guarantees, estimated costs from City funds and supplemental agreements and reversion authorizations, applicable state and federal wage rate requirements, equal opportunity provisions, the Mayor’s Executive Orders, contract advertising statutes, and a public work emergency clause.
  • B.B.#304 – Bosley – An ordinance to repeal Ordinance No. 70419 and enacting in lieu thereof an ordinance authorizing the lease of certain real property owned by the City located in City Block 2437; containing a severability clause. This ordinance authorizing and directing the Mayor and Comptroller to enter into a Lease Agreement with Sun Ministries, Incorporated.
  • B.B.#305 – Kennedy/Williamson/Davis/Flowers/Moore/French/Carter Hubbard/Pres. Reed/Bosley – An ordinance approving a minority and women-owned business enterprise program for the City; authorizing certain other actions; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#306 – Kennedy – An amendment to Ordinance 69984 (which established the Civilian Oversight Board, extending the number of days that the St. Louis Civilian Oversight Board has to review complaints and make recommendations by amending Section Six of said ordinance 69984; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#307 – Ortmann – An Ordinance pertaining to tampering with a witness or victim; prohibiting conduct by any individual which has the intention to or causes a witness or victim to fail to comply with or assist a police investigation or legal proceeding, including a Court proceeding, an Administrative hearing, or a Board hearing and all related investigations thereto within the City; containing definitions, prohibitions, and penalties.
  • B.B.#308 – Coatar – An Ordinance pursuant to ordinance 62234 for Police Division Sergeant Bargaining Unit between the City and the St. Louis Police Officers Association/Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 68.

Board Bill 309 isn’t listed on the agenda where it was introduced.

Today’s meeting begins at 10am, it can be watched online here.

— Steve Patterson

 

b

b

b

b

More Than Half Of Readers Willing To Send Their Child To St. Louis Public Schools

February 1, 2017 Education, Featured Comments Off on More Than Half Of Readers Willing To Send Their Child To St. Louis Public Schools
 
Cole School. 3935 Enright Ave. was built in 1936. Now it's the Gilkey Pamoja Preparatory Academy @ Cole -- click for info on this market educating program
Cole School. 3935 Enright Ave. was built in 1936. Now it’s the Gilkey Pamoja Preparatory Academy @ Cole — click for info on this market educating program

The St. Louis Public Schools recently became fully accredited again — a result of vast improvements from a decade ago when barely more than half graduated and there was a huge budget deficit:

Today, the high-poverty, majority-African-American district has a 72 percent graduation rate and 95 percent attendance rate. The district had a $19.2 million surplus in June. The district has improved its students’ test scores year after year.

Still, Superintendent Kelvin Adams and the appointed Special Administrative Board acknowledge that the district is not meeting its academic goals.

“It’s really about the young people … who deserve to have the kind of education we all want for our kids,” Adams said after the board’s vote. “We’re not going to stop until every single kid can read, every single kid has that opportunity.”

About 37 percent of students who took state tests last year scored proficient or advanced in English, and 26 percent did so in math. Only 12 percent of district high school graduates who were tested scored at or above the national average on the ACT. (Post-Dispatch)

In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll just over half the readers said they’d send their kids to a St. Louis Public School:

Q: Assume you have a child ready to start 1st grade. Agree or disagree: Now that they’re accredited, I’d send my child to St. Louis Public Schools.

  • Strongly agree 10 [21.28%]
  • Agree 6 [12.77%]
  • Somewhat agree 14 [29.79%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree 0 [0%]
  • Disagree 4 [8.51%]
  • Strongly disagree 9 [19.15%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 4 [8.51%]

A couple of comments on social media do a good job summarizing

Celia Watson on Facebook:

This is a tough one to answer. I love my kiddos SLPS magnet school, but our neighborhood school is still not a consideration for us. I do feel that SLPS is well run, and employs excellent teachers and staff.

Jason Stokes on Twitter:

Have a current kindergartener. Moving to STL next month. Will send him to SLPS.

The more good students attend the schools the better they’ll do. The more involved parents & prospective parents are in the schools the better they’ll do.

— Steve Patterson

Accessibility To Food Trucks Is Often Lacking Due To Location Issues

January 30, 2017 Accessibility, Featured, Planning & Design, Popular Culture Comments Off on Accessibility To Food Trucks Is Often Lacking Due To Location Issues
 

More than two decades after the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed, the ongoing food truck revolution remains largely inaccessible to those of us who use wheelchairs. Not because of the tricks themselves, but because of where they park.

From a 2013 post — Foods trucks at Third Degree’s open house require lining up on grass — a challenge for some.

In early September a proposed food truck park was in the news:

St. Louis may soon get its first food truck park — a regular gathering spot for some of the area’s best-regarded mobile kitchens. The proposed site is on a stretch of South Vandeventer Avenue — not far from the popular Grove entertainment district — that officials hope to regenerate with new businesses.

Some planning remains, and the park’s developers have yet to choose the project’s name. But they have a site and hope to conduct a food truck pop-up event there this fall.

If plans work out, next spring a rotating assemblage of food trucks will begin to operate daily on what is now an overgrown lot next to the long-ago home of Liberty Bell Oil Co. The vacant building at 1430 South Vandeventer will be redone as the joint commissary for the food trucks. (Post-Dispatch)

My hope is if this moves forward it’ll be designed so everyone can patronize the food trucks. Often I can’t reach the trucks parked downtown at one of my favorite spots: Citygarden.

Even downtown many access problems exist. Just walk up right?
Even downtown many access problems exist. Just walk up right?
No, in this case the window isn't lined up with the walk shown in the previous picture.
No, in this case the window isn’t lined up with the walk shown in the previous picture.
Market next to Citygarden is a very narrow strip of concrete. Enough to stand on but not enough for a wheelchair.
Even when the window is lined up it can still be a challenge if there are others in line.

When I started blogging 12+ years ago I argued for more food carts to activate streets — food trucks weren’t a thing yet. I still wish food carts were more common because they trend to be easier to access in a wheelchair. But trucks have replaced carts so now we need to ensure the public can access them.

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Would You Send Your Child To The Fully Accredited St. Louis Public Schools?

January 29, 2017 Cherokee Business District, Education, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Would You Send Your Child To The Fully Accredited St. Louis Public Schools?
 
Please vote below

Earlier this month the St. Louis Public Schools became fully accredited:

The state board gave unanimous approval to upgrade St. Louis Public Schools’ status from provisionally accredited to fully accredited. Officials with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education cited the district’s rising test scores, improved attendance rates and fiscal stability as the reasons for recommending the change.

The decision comes nearly a decade after the state took over the St. Louis Public Schools system and replaced its elected board with a special administrative board. Most members of the state board credited Superintendent Kelvin Adams with helping facilitate the district’s turnaround.  (St. Louis Public Radio)

Now, many are wondering if more parents will choose the district over other options. Good question so I’ve made it the subject of today’s poll.

The poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

Bissell Water Tower First Saved 55 Years Ago Today

January 27, 2017 Featured, History/Preservation, North City Comments Off on Bissell Water Tower First Saved 55 Years Ago Today
 
Image from the 1970 nominating to the National Register of Historic Places, click image to view
Image from the 1970 nominating to the National Register of Historic Places, click image to view

Today’s post was originally supposed to be about how a historic water tower, one of our three, was saved 55 years ago. In researching, however, I found the truth was a little differing.

A few years ago the STL250 group posted a daily tidbit — I saved those which thought might be of interest here.

This Day in St. Louis History, January 27, 1962:
Salvation for the Bissell Street Water Tower

When news was released that the city had decided to tear down the dilapidated Bissell Street Water Tower at Blair and Bissell Street in North St. Louis, protests came from every direction. The tower had been losing bricks from its face due to water infiltration and freezing, but people demanded the structure be saved. Thanks to a matching grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior and the realization that tearing it down would be just as expensive, the tower was saved and restored. The Bissell Street Water Tower was constructed in 1885 to control surges of water pressure along with its older adjacent neighbor, the Grand Avenue Water Tower, shaped like a giant Corinthian column. Less than ten Victorian-era water towers remain in the United States, and three are in St. Louis.

Their post has been deleted from Facebook. So it was saved on a Saturday in 1962 — great

From the city’s page on the water tower:

Bissell Street Water Tower – City Landmark #12

Built in 1885, the Bissell Street Water Tower, also called the “Red” Water Tower, was designed by William S. Eames in the form of a Moorish Minaret.  The tower stands 206 feet high and is located at the intersection of Blair Avenue and Bissell Street in the Hyde Park City Historic District.

There are nine doorways leading into a space containing an iron standpipe and spiral staircase. At the top is a look-out platform. The tower was renovated in 1913.  There was an attempt to raze the tower in 1958, but luckily it was halted by Donald Gunn, the President of the Board of Aldermen.  The Red Tower was restored once again in the 1960s and designated a City Landmark in 1966..  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

So it was saved from demolition in 1962, restored and listed on the National Register. Not quite.

From the nomination to the register completed on April 8, 1970:

No material alterations have been made on the structure since its construction and its appearance remains essentially the same as when it was completed. The tower was taken out of use  June 8, 1913 when new pumping engines rendered both it and its companion, the Grand Avenue Water Tower, obsolete. It has received no substantive maintenance since that date and has fallen into such a state of disrepair that it has been barricaded since 1965 to protect people from falling bricks. Because it has been deemed a danger to public safety, it is now threatened with imminent demolition.

This description of the physical appearance of the building is based on the data included in a field report by Edward A. Ruesing written, on February 26, 1970. The report is filed at the central office of the Missouri State Park Board, P.O. Box 1?6, Jefferson Building, Jefferson City, Misoouri 65101.

No doubt something happened 55 years ago today, but it was just part of many steps taken to save it from demolition. I haven’t been up there since December 2011 — not sure of the current condition. Would be nice to see the Compton Hill Water Tower & Park Preservation Society expand to cover all three of our water towers or help form an organization to help the two north side towers.

It is located at the intersection of Bissell St & Blair Ave.

— Steve Pattetrson

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe