The Housing, Urban Development and Zoning Committee passed Board Bill 199, Alderwoman’s Tammika Hubbard’s proposal to authorized Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in support of Paul Mckee’s North Side Redevelopment plan on Wednesday, October 10th, 2013. The committee amended the bill before passing it. Hubbard, St. Louis Development Corporation SLDC Director Otis Williams, and SLDC Project manage Rob Orr faced questions from the committee. Most of the questioning were concerning bb 200, the amendment which authorized fund for home improvement. Alderman French and Alderwoman Tyrus opposed passage bb 199 and BB 200. Both BB 199 and bb 200 passed 6-2.
French: French raised concerns about 200.
“I resent being put in this position. We are asking appropriate questions. We trying to clear up a legal document to make sure it says what it’s going to do, and instead it just gets push through. And we seen the movie several times. A bill with several million dollars...something is put in at the last stage to get those extra votes and it never materialized. I remember BJC wanted to purchase a part of Forest Park. There was a deal that BJC will build an urgent care center North St. Louis, it never happened.”
French took issue with $250,000 for home improvement in the amendment for the 1st year. He pointed out that one home could cost 25,000 by it self.
Tyrus explained here opposition to both the amendment and BB 199:
“I’m not oppose to that neighborhood being regenerated. That’s good, I am opposed loosely worded amendments that doesn’t do what they are suppose to. I really think you need to tighten things up so that people know what they voting on and expecting. This amendment is not doing what the people you want to vote on the amendment intended.”
She didn’t believe the language wasn’t develop enough. She believe the proposal should be put on hold. She pointed out that the process wasn’t transparent. McKee as overcame obstacles in the process over the past 3 years because residence and concerned citizens of North St. Louis and St. Louis believe McKee as been pursuing his project with out much input from the public while seeking TIFs. McKee has won a legal victory from the Missouri Supreme Court against an opponent. Mckee's supporters include Mayor Slay, Congressman Clay, and Chairman Fed Wessels.
In the St. Louis Beacon, Clay argued that the project should be given a chance to be successful. Slay supports regenerating North St. Louis because he doesn't want the city do die. Both Mayor Slay and President of the Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed voiced support for Mckee's project during the last Mayoral primary election. BB 199 move to the full Board of Aldermen for passage.