Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Prisoner Housing First of Tax Issues on City-County July Meeting Agenda

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Prisoner Housing First of Tax Issues on City-County July Meeting Agenda

Article excerpt

In an effort to resolve the question of whether city residents get adequate services from St. Charles County, members of the St. Charles County Municipal League will meet with county officials next month to discuss planning and zoning and the housing of prisoners at the county justice center.

The meeting, tentatively scheduled for July 13, is to be the first of several to deal with concerns many of the cities have over the sevices their residents get for the county taxes they pay.

The league met with county officials June 11 to discuss the contents of the league's 60-page report released in February and titled "Tax Payers Asking for More Equitable Services," as well as County Executive Joe Ortwerth's May 13 response to the report.

The report claims that taxpayers "receive few, if any, services from the county in return for their tax dollars."

Municipal League President Bob Moeller, mayor of St. Charles, told the league Wednesday that the June 11 meeting had generated seven general points for discussion: housing prisoners in the county justice center, planning and zoning agreements between the county and the cities, annexation, storm-water drainage projects, fire protection, animal control and ambulance districts.

"I think we need to take no more than two of these at a time," Moeller said.

St. Charles County Council Chairman Sally Faith, 5th Distract-St. Charles, suggested that the governing bodies of the cities and county appoint members to separate committees to discuss each of the points and make recommendations to the officials. She said that would be a good way to increase active participation among all the elected officials, some of whom complained June 11 about a lack of communication.

St. Peters Mayor Tom Brown said the league had strayed away from the original focus of the report. "The issue here is that inequity of tax distribution," he said. "The county executive and the chief elected officers of the cities have to sit down face to face and come to an agreement on this," he said. …

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