Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Radio City

Speaking of budgets, look for the City of St. Louis to ask voters for a $13 million bond issue this November 8th, to fund a major overhaul of the radio system used by Police, Fire and EMS.

Board Bill #153, which will make this happen, is making its way through the Board of Aldermen.

The sponsor is Terry Kennedy, who also chairs the Public Safety Committee. The committee will discuss the bill tomorrow, in the Leisure Room (Room 230), City Hall, at 1:00 PM.

Some of you may recall that in November 1998, City voters approved three bond issues totaling about $65 million for renovation of fire stations, fire equipment upgrades, the new Police Department crime lab facility and renovations to police headquarters, as well as demolition of some derelict buildings.

Seven years is a long time, and a large percentage of those projects have been completed, and the funds expended. The new crime lab is open and operating, and several fire stations including those at 3500 South Grand, 200 South Vandeventer, and 1229 McCausland, among others, have been extensively renovated.

Since property values in the City are rising, the overall tax rate may be decreased. Offering a relatively small bond issue for an essential service is a smart way to finance such a project, while minimizing the impact on taxpayers.

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