Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Letters to the Editor, March 24

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Letters to the Editor, March 24

Article excerpt

Rescuing Arch, revitalizing downtown is critical

I applaud the Post-Dispatch's comprehensive treatment of the Gateway Arch and the CityArchRiver proposal. While I generally oppose tax increases, rescuing the Arch and revitalizing downtown is absolutely critical now. Although I live in St. Louis County and no longer work in the city, I believe a rising tide of Arch-downtown vitality and economic buoyance lifts all riverboats throughout the St. Louis region.

The Arch is plagued with challenges, like being cut off from downtown by dangerous, unsightly roads and traffic. As you explained, plans to improve the Arch grounds have been in the works for almost 20 years. CityArchRiver is the right antidote finally within reach. It is a logical, exciting, and much overdue way to revitalize St. Louis and make the Arch and downtown whole together becoming a premier destination attraction.

I am confident St. Louisans will realize just how critical this proposal is and support Proposition P.

Stephen S. Davis Crestwood

Need better oversight of county parks before approving sales tax

Proposition P, the CityArchRiver sales tax, may be a windfall for Arch development and Great Rivers Greenway, but it only offers 19 percent of revenues to the St. Louis County Parks system.

Meanwhile, in August, the county executive threatened to sell off county parks for budgetary reasons. Last month, the County Council approved the replacement of migratory bird habitat in Creve Coeur Park with a 15-year lease to Go Ape!, a commercial zip line franchise. Either county parks are being questionably managed or they are in financial trouble or both. To ensure responsible oversight and adequate financing we need:

A dedicated sales tax proposition for county parks alone, guaranteed not to go into the general fund.

A county ordinance prohibiting sale of parks, or lease of longer than one year, without a vote of the people.

Public input surveys and master plans for all county parks for fair input from taxpayers on development and use of our land.

If county government were to adopt these policies, I believe voters would approve a dedicated sales tax, for we treasure our parks and want to see them properly financed and maintained. …

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