Support Proposition No. 1 on August 7
On August 7, voters will be asked to approve a new $50 million bond issuance by the City. Here are a few facts that everyone should know about Proposition No. 1, which will allow the city to obtain critical funding without any corresponding increase in taxes:
- Rather than borrowing funds from banks to fund necessary expenses, city governments often sell bonds to groups of investors. In exchange for providing cash to cities, investors are promised both interest payments and returns of their principal when the bonds mature.
- St. Louis will pay off a portion of its existing debt when certain bonds mature next year.
- Your existing property tax rate already is sized to cover repayment of that maturing debt.
- If voters approve the issuance of $50 million in new bonds on August 7, the cost of repayment will still be covered by your current property tax rate, and no tax increase will be required.
By supporting Proposition 1, City voters will provide $49 million for the purchase of fire trucks, ambulances, police radios and 911 system equipment
, as well the repair, replacement and renovation of bridges, courthouses, and other City-owned facilities
. $1 million of the proceeds would cover the cost of the bond issuance itself.
Without Proposition No. 1, the City will be forced to continue deferring its long-term infrastructure investments. As a member of the City’s Capital Committee, I can assure you that a new bond issuance is of utmost importance to St. Louis’ future.
Please consider joining me at the polls next Tuesday and voting “yes” on Proposition 1
. Click here to view a sample ballot
Many of you have voiced concerns about delayed trash pickup, a problem that has affected nearly every neighborhood in the City. Here are the latest updates:
- The Board of Aldermen hosted a special hearing on Tuesday to discuss the issue with residents and City officials.
- Only 50 of the City’s 80 trash trucks are currently operable.
- On any given day, approximately half of the City’s trucks are out-of-service and require repairs.
- The City has purchased 16 new trash trucks, with another 15 slated for purchase between now and December.
- The recent $3 increase to each resident’s trash fee is being used to purchase new trucks, but was budgeted to finance the purchase of 76 trucks over a 10-year period.
The City recognizes that overflowing trash bins are more than an inconvenience, and can pose health and safety risks. That’s why various departments are meeting daily to keep the arrival of new trucks on schedule, retool the schedules of drivers, and respond to neighborhood concerns.
As a member of the City’s Capital Committee, I also intend to advocate for the expedited purchase of up to 15 additional trash trucks to meet current needs. Those trucks are currently budged for acquisition in 2020 – 2021, but need to be obtained as soon as possible.
The Weeks Ahead
Following its July 13 meeting, the Board of Aldermen adjourned for summer recess. Weekly meetings, as well as various committee meetings, will resume after Labor Day. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on neighborhood issues and follow-up on any outstanding requests for City services. I also will spend this time speaking with neighborhood groups, block captains, residents and business owners to determine the best uses for our 2018 – 2019 allocation of Ward Capital.
Those proceeds, which can only be spent on capital improvements within Ward 16, are the primary source of funds for infrastructure projects like street and alley repairs. Please let me know if your street or alley is in disrepair and would be a good candidate for review by the Streets Department.
Last year, readers of the Ward 16 Weekly received a detailed breakdown of the intended uses for their 2017-2018 Ward Capital dollars. The next issue of this newsletter will include an accounting of how those dollars were spent, including the expense savings that were achieved due to our careful budgeting and planning.