ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen is warning against a possible “sweetheart deal” in the works for developer Paul McKee.
Aldermanic President Lewis Reed says he wants McKee to succeed in his Northside Regeneration project, but including an extra $29 million for McKee in a general obligation bond on the November ballot could turn off voters.
“I think it puts the whole thing in jeopardy,” he says. “It’s one that we cannot afford to lose, and I think Paul would understand that also. This is not one that we can afford to lose.”
Reed says it’s critical to avoid anything that would make voters think that their money could be going anywhere else than what they’re reading on the ballot.
Reed says Mayor Slay and Comptroller Green pushed for the McKee deal in a May 20 meeting of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment.
There’s supposed to be an audio tape of that meeting on the E and A website, but the audio there is from the meeting a year ago.
In response, Mayor Slay’s office says that the project is certainly vitally important to the Northside Regeneration project, but more so, it’s important to connect North St. Louis to the boom going on in the Central Corridor, and spread the success of the Central Corridor to North St. Louis.
“We can’t have it both ways,” Slay’s office said in a statement. “We cannot demand development in North St. Louis, then not build the public infrastructure needed to make it happen.
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