Precise Plans Needed for Any City-College Project, Mayor Says Nichols: Lindenwood Partnership Depends on Specifics
Tommy Robertson Of the St. Charles Post, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
St. Charles should avoid any commitments to form a partnership with Lindenwood College until both sides have approved precise plans for redevelopment, says Mayor Grace M. Nichols.
"I am not going to entertain anything for the city's involvement until we have a plan for the whole area," Nichols said last week.
Several City Council members have had discussions with Lindenwood College President Dennis C. Spellmann and city staff about forming a partnership to build a community civic center and other amenities on 40 acres northwest of the campus.
Council members stress that the talks are in the development stage. Council members have hired an attorney, Keith Hazelwood, to develop the legal options both sides may consider in forming a nonprofit partnership.
Among other things, the venture calls for developing a cultural center that would include meeting rooms, a common exhibition room, a museum and possibly a television studio.
The partnership also might develop several small lakes, make road improvements and build a center for studying nature and the environment.
City Council members are considering whether to finance the city's share from riverboat gaming revenue. City officials expect to collect at least $3.5 million in the 12-month period that ends at the end of May this year.
But Nichols said gaming revenue should not pay for any joint project with Lindenwood College. "One of the things I have felt strongly about is not to count on gaming revenue for the long term," the mayor said.
She said a joint redevelopment project should be financed by a bond issue, not gaming revenue. …