The St. Louis Board of Alderman passed Board Bill 258 that will increase taxes to fund parks improvements and projects on the Arch grounds on Friday, January 18th 2013. The city hoped to partner with St. Louis County and St. Charles to improve the parks region wide. The St. Louis County Council placed their tax before voters last Tuesday.
At the January 11th meeting, Alderman Scott Ogilvie spoke against it arguing too big, unnecessary, too costly. Ogilvie argued the city has other priorities then to that needs to take care of, although Ogilvie did point out that he is a supporter of Gateway Greenway and environmental projects. Aldermen French and Samuel Moore spoke out against the tax as well. Moore displayed pictures of his ward to aid his argument that the tax is a misplaced priority. All three: Ogilvie, French and Moore voted against the bill but they were in the minority.
Aldermen Freeman Bosley Sr. spoke in favor of the tax, "We most maintain the parts." He claims parts maintain property value. To the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the bill sponsor, Phyllis Young, argued that her bill is a great opportunity to advance the quality of life regionally.
Voters in St. Louis county and city will see BB 258 as proposition P asking voters if they want to increase taxes 3/16th towards the Metropolitan Parks and Recreation District for the Gateway arch grounds and other parks in the area. BB 258 list the following parks for improvements: Tower Grove, Carondelet, Fairground, Forest Park, O'Fallon and Willmore.
Alderman Terry Kennedy voted present on the bill but did proposed a bill that will require the city to do a disparity study to ensure that equality.