Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Paving the Way City Can Help Pay for Road Projects, 5 Say

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Paving the Way City Can Help Pay for Road Projects, 5 Say

Article excerpt

At least five members of the St. Charles City Council say the city is able and willing to help pay for a list of road projects for which the city is seeking funding from St. Charles County's transportation fund.

The City Council members plan to attend a meeting of the county's advisory Road Board on Jan. 16 to renew their appeal to get assistance from the county fund.

City Councilwoman Patti York, 1st Ward, and Councilman Bob Kneemiller, 3rd Ward, told the County Council Tuesday night that they disagreed with Mayor Grace M. Nichols' position on contributing municipal money toward improving Mueller Road, the extension of North Fifth Street and construction of Elm Street Industrial Drive.

On Nov. 16, the county Road Board, which sets priorities and makes recommendations on how the fund should be spent, had refused to include any of the city's projects when it recommended the expenditure of $18.5 million for other projects in the county.

The board said St. Charles had not contributed toward the cost of the projects, as other municipalities had toward projects within their borders.

"We don't agree with the mayor's approach," said York, who hopes to unseat Nichols in the April election. York characterized the mayor as opposing the spending of city funds for the road projects. Further, York said Nichols had kept the City Council in the dark about what was needed to tap into county road funds.

Nichols said on Wednesday morning, "I'm not surprised that they are in the dark." She said much misunderstanding had arisen over whether St. Charles had participated in previous road projects financed by the county. "Our position is that we have participated. . . . If you look at all the budgets of other municipalities in the (county) you see that some have not participated at all, others have participated with a small percentage and some with a large percentage," she said. "That is exactly what we have done," participating in different ways in a variety of projects. …

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