Jack Coatar, 7thWard Alderman
Fiscal year 2019 starts on July 1, 2018, which means it is time, once again, for Aldermen to decide how to allocate ward capital funds for the upcoming fiscal year. Every year, each ward receives an equal amount of money levied from a one-half cent sales tax for improvements throughout the ward. These funds are distributed evenly throughout the 28 wards, regardless of size or the needs of the community.
For the upcoming year, $425,000, will be allocated to each ward. Last year, $100,000 was pledged to Lafayette Square from the capital fund to help start a surveillance camera program for major entry points to the neighborhood. That money remains pledged to the camera program while we work with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department on design and implementation. This year, capital funds will be pledged for the second phase of decorative fencing along Truman Parkway near Carroll Street. Additionally, funds from bond initiatives dedicated to city parks will be spent in Lafayette Park. The park bond money will be used to improve the surface near the swings at the playground, and money will be used to repair the windows and trim at the Kern Pavilion.
Throughout the ward, $141,000 is being allocated to the 50/50 sidewalk program. This program allows property owners to split the cost of materials for new sidewalks in front of their home or business. I fully fund this program every year and highly encourage you to sign up if the sidewalk in front of your house is in need of repair or replacement. An additional $14,000 is being allocated to the Forestry Department for new trees throughout the ward. Approximately $50,000 is being dedicated to traffic calming measures in other 7th Ward neighborhoods.
Finally, approximately $100,000 is being dedicated to street resurfacing, mainly downtown and in LaSalle Park. Anyone who has driven downtown lately knows that many of the streets are in desperate need of repair. Ameren UE will bear the cost of most of the repaving downtown once they complete their underground utility work, and the ward capital fund will repave a large section of Washington Avenue near Memorial Drive where we just completed a major streetscape project with the help of federal funding.
I appreciate the time and effort members of the Lafayette Square Restoration Committee put into planning neighborhood improvement projects, and I look forward to working with the neighborhood during this upcoming fiscal year. If you have any ideas for future neighborhood improvement projects, please let me know so we can begin planning and design to make sure they get funded in future fiscal years.
Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 314-622-3287.