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The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the category “st louis county”

Blues Practice Facility Again

Tony Messenger wrote today in the Post that the Blues practice in Creve Coeur Park is not a dead deal. What is going on? The feds will never allow this to happen. Does anyone agree with me that the Economic Development leadership in St. Louis County should be fired. They have been totally dishonest about the whole transaction. When will this nonsense end? Written by Paul Dribin

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Blues Blues

The St. Louis Blues Hockey Club has been off to one of the best starts in hockey. Off the ice, things have not gone as well. Two recent additions to their ongoing saga:

1. The club’s practice facility will be built in a location other than Creve Coeur Park which has environmental issues. The location has not been revealed but will be in Maryland Heights.

2. More turmoil about paying for renovations to their arena. Alderman Cara Spencer has raised objections to the City of St. Louis deferring Payment in Lieu of Taxes by the Blues. Spencer complained this change was made without the knowledge of the Board of Aldermen. The whole issue will apparently be decided in an ongoing lawsuit which has raised legal objections to the city funding the arena renovations.

Side note- Tom Stillman who is the Principal Owner of the Blues did something incredibly kind for a friend of mine in recent months. Tom was a total stranger to this individual and really brightened his life. Written by Paul Dribin“`

Historic Tax Credits and Trump

President Trump has proposed in his tax plan to eliminate the Federal Historic Tax Credits. This would be a disaster for most cities, and most significantly, St. Louis. Federal and state credits have been effectively used in St. Louis for years to rehabilitate and develop housing that is historically significant. The dollar value has to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The value to the community is even higher. This for a tax plan that increases the deficit and simply lines the pocket of already very wealthy Americans. Second, this does not even get at the possible cuts in the State of Missouri Historic Tax Credits proposed by Governor Greitens Written by Paul Dribin

Tower T Development

One of the iconic places of the St. Louis area will be no more. Tower T located in South St. Louis County has been a popular spot for many years. It has included many of the rather tacky aspects of life, a nine hole par 3 golf course, batting cages, and miniature golf. My son and I spent many happy hours there.

The site will be developed for 300 homes. I don’t know how the area can support the traffic that would be generated by such a project. It appears to represent the height of poor planning. Written by Paul Dribin

Blues Ice Rink Again

The federal government has refused to allow construction of an ice arena on a environmentally fragile site in Creve Coeur Park. Last week officials from the federal government were in town to hear grievances from local politicians. The lawyer for the ice arena played the oldest game in the world when facing a negative decision from the feds. He argued prejudice on the part of the federal officials based upon newspaper articles they had received. The only way to attempt to win this is to argue that the feds acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner.

Enough of this nonsense. Let’s find another site and get on with things. Written by Paul Dribin

West Lake Landfill

Thanks to the efforts of David Behrens, I am becoming more aware of this situation and do not like what I see. This is an EPA designated superfund site in Bridgeton that has been getting attention and negative comments for some time. There have been fires burning consistently for years and people living amidst the radioactive landfill. Republic Corporation who also picks up garbage and recycling dumps their trash in the fill which has been contaminated by the sludge from enriched uranium. My understanding is the sludge is then given to MSD who treats it and dumps it in the Mississippi River. The federal EPA has refused to offer buyouts and relocation for residents and full cleanup of the site. Written by Paul Dribin

Designing a More Inclusive City

A way for St. Louis to prosper is to be as welcoming and inclusive as possible. An article I just read in the New Yok Times describes how often through subtle measures we exclude people. An example the author cited was the lack of comfortable seating in public spaces. These measures of course by themselves are not game changers but are part of an overall package that make cities appealing. Written by a Paul Dribin

`Is There a Way St. Louis Can Grow Because our Cost of Living is Reasonable

I just read an article which states the obvious, high end workers will move to places such as San Francisco or Boston to take advantage of the higher paying jobs. Regular people, both professional and blue collar cannot make that move due to the extremely high cost of housing in those locations.

St. Louis needs to figure out a way to harness our pluses; an affordable cost of living and world class cultural attractions. I think that is a big deal. I would even suggest flying recent college graduates here for a weekend to show them our pluses. Pittsburgh is an example of a city I considered to be much like St. Louis that repositioned itself as a trendy place.

The big negative in St. Louis is the crime situation. Virtually everyone except civil rights activists feel it is the number one problem facing the city. Few people seem willing to acknowledge this issue. Written by Paul Dribin

How Will Self Driving Cars Affect our Future

Self driving cars are on their way. They may be here in a few years or 20 years, but they will be here. They will have a dramatic effect on the world and on communities such as St. Louis. Here are some thoughts:

1. Public transport systems will suffer, go bankrupt, or go out of existence. Why should people ride buses or trains when they can dial up a car and go door to door in minutes?

2. Further investment in metrolink is absurd.

3. A good strategy would be for transport companies to develop their own ride sharing programs.

4. Roads should be less crowded.

5. There will be far fewer traffic injuries and deaths. Police can be freed up to fight crime.

6. There could be a real problem of equity for poor people. If someone has bad credit or a criminal background will they be allowed to order a car? If not, will poor people once again have trouble getting to work? Right now taxis and Uber are reluctant to go to the inner city. Will the same policy exist for self driving cars?

Written by Paul Dribin

Biking in the St. Louis Region

A good story about the St. Louis region is that we have some of the best and most advanced bike trails in the country. Praise needs to be given to Trailnet , the people who founded it, led by Peter Sortino, and the taxpayers who voted to pay for it. Trailnet is recommending that visitors tour the area on bikes. An excellent idea. Written by Paul Dribin

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