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Parks Department Working on Plan to Update Soulard Market, Park

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - A plan to revamp Soulard Market and Park brought out more than 200 people to the neighborhood Wednesday night.

Residents and vendors strolled through 9th Street Abbey, looking at posters that showed what the market could be. Everyone seemed optimistic, including vendor Allan Scharf. He says his only worry is that the money won’t be there to get it done.

“Phase one is going to cost 3. 5 to 4 million dollars, and that’s just to keep it from falling apart even more,” he said.

Scharf has been a vendor at the market since the 70s. He says business could always be better, but it’s good enough to keep him around.

New plans would enclose the market with windows to make it more accessable through the winter. It calls for updates to the sidewalk to make it wheelchair accessible. It includes provisions for new plumbing, new roof tiles and new signs. The plan would cost 14 million dollars over several years. It also calls for the market to be opened on Sundays; currently it’s open Thursday through Saturday.

Residents at the open house say they’re pleased with the plan, but are also concerned about funding. One resident says there just need to be more trash cans, because the market is dirty.

Right now, Parks Director Gary Bess says there’s a little tax money that’s available to start the project, but the rest of it will have to be funded by grants or a public-private partnership.

The plan isn’t finalized, he says, but will be by the end of the summer.

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