Local news, local politics and community events for West St. Louis County Missouri.
14 I NEWS I April 11, 2018 WEST NEWSMAGAZINE Fahr Greenhouses @WESTNEWSMAG WESTNEWSMAGAZINE.COM Executive order adds 25 additional acres to Creve Coeur Lake Park • Delivery Available • Annuals • Perennials • Containers for instant outdoor décor • Hanging baskets • Tropical Plants • Herbs and Vegetables Situated among rolling hills and fields in Wildwood, MO, Fahr Greenhouse has been growing the highest quality plants for your home and garden for over 65 years. We are the premier local grower of annual plants in the area. Always sustainable. Always Locally grown. And now, flowers designed for fine, stylish outdoor living 18944 St. Albans Rd. (hwy. T) Wildwood MO 63038 5 minutes west of Wildwood Town Center For details www.Fahrgreenhouse.com Like us on facebook 636.458.3991 Furniture • Flooring • Accessories • Interior Design • Boutique 21 south washington ave. | Union, Mo 63084 636.583.3133 | unionfurnituremo.com Monday-Thursday 9a.m. - 5:30 • Friday 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. PAY NO SALES TAX April 11 - 17th Furniture, Home Accessories and Boutique are Tax Free!* Exclusions apply. See store for complete details. • • • • • • By JESSICA MESZAROS On April 2, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger issued and signed an executive order for the addition of about 25 acres to Creve Coeur Lake Park, located in Maryland Heights. The land was previously the home of Lakeside Center, a residential youth treatment program that ceased operations in 2016. After its closure, the center’s services and inhabitants were transferred to Marygrove, a nonprofit agency affiliated with Catholic Charities of St. Louis and located in Florissant. The transfer took place in January 2017 and allowed Lakeside Center clients to receive or continue therapeutic and educational services at Marygrove. According to Stenger, the transfer also saved $2.1 million annually in taxpayer money as part of the county’s mission to continue toward cost-saving initiatives to maintain a balanced budget. Absorption of the 25-acre tract into Creve Coeur Lake Park has been discussed by the County Council since late 2016. “Legally, it could either be done through an executive order or it could be done through legislation,” Stenger said. Legislation regarding the use of the 25 acres as park property was suggested by Council Chairman Sam Page [District 2], which contributed to Stenger’s decision to issue the order. “He was requesting legislation on Tuesday [March 27], and he notified us of this on Friday [March 23],” Stenger said. “So we thought, ‘Let’s all move forward together.’” According to Page, the reason behind posing the legislation was to sequester the area from development and possibly repair damage from the previously proposed St. Louis Ice Center planned for 13750 Marine Ave. Construction began on the property without approval from the National Park Service before the building was relocated altogether. Some environmental damage to the park includes landscape erosion, tree removal and the addition of two retention basins in place of former open space. “We need to think about restoring that parkland to open space use and adding more area for public use in Creve Coeur Park,” Page said. The council can choose to draft future legislation that would clarify additional details regarding other uses and amenities of the 25 acres as park property. Stenger said he anticipated support for that legislation should it occur, “and it sounds as though they’re going to be supporting my executive order.” “We’re all moving forward together,” he reiterated. “Since I was a council person, one of my goals, and you could call it my mission, was to expand our parks system and make our parks system better for our residents from a recreational perspective and just enjoying these open spaces that are so beautiful and wonderful in our county.” “Our county is known for our parks system and, particularly, one of our gems is Creve Coeur Park.” Potentially, the 25-acre addition would be used for recreational purposes and contribute more green space. The county also is looking into possibly refurbishing or reusing some of its existing facilities. “I’ve actually had people come up to me and say what a great idea they think this is that we should expand Creve Coeur Park.” -STEVE STENGER “We’re looking at those structures and trying to make a determination of what might we be able to utilize those structures for,” Stenger said. “Would they be park amenities or some other type of service for the community?” Although the final amenities and uses haven’t been decided, residents are free to begin using the 25 acres as part of the official park property immediately. “Our community members and our residents are free to begin using that space however they’d like to use it right now,” Stenger said. “It’s open immediately, and it’s adjacent to the park. We’ll be gathering input from the public to hear what they’d like to see there, and the councilmembers, I’m sure, will be giving their input as well.” Stenger said the immediate feedback about the addition has been positive. “I think people are pretty psyched,” Stenger said. “I think they’re excited, and we’ve heard a lot of positive feedback. Quite literally, just walking down the street in Clayton, I’ve actually had people come up to me and say what a great idea they think this is that we should expand Creve Coeur Park.” Community members can submit feedback through the county website [stlouisco. com] under the Contact Us tab.
FACEBOOK.COM/WESTNEWSMAGAZINE WESTNEWSMAGAZINE.COM Lewis Road bridge repairs voted down, once again By ELLEN LAMPE April 11, 2018 WEST NEWSMAGAZINE I NEWS I 15 GRAND OPENING! SATURDAY, APRIL 14 TH AT THE SHOPPES IN SEVEN OAKS A bridge in Eureka – deemed one of worst bridges in St. Louis County – has been a highly contested issue for the past year. At its April 3 meeting, the St. Louis County Council voted down a third bill introduced by Councilmember Mark Harder [R-District 7] attempting to fix the Lewis Road Bridge. The bridge leads to one man’s home and a golf course, which that same man owns. That man, Mike Roberts, also happens to be a donor to Democratic County Executive Steve Stenger’s campaign. After an April 2017 council meeting, in which a previous one of Harder’s Lewis Road Bridge bills was voted down, Harder called that action “playing petty politics.” Opponents say replacing the bridge would be a multi-million dollar investment benefiting, for the most part, one man. They believe Roberts should have to foot some of the cost to fix the bridge. Supporters of the bill say that, since Lewis Road is public property, it’s not Roberts’ responsibility to fix the bridge, it’s St. Louis County’s responsibility. Councilmembers Sam Page [D-District 2] and Rochelle Walton Gray [D-District 4] voted no to the bill; Councilmember Ernie Trakas [R-District 6] abstained from voting; Councilmember Hazel Erby [D-District 1] was absent; Councilmembers Colleen Wasinger [R-District 3], Pat Dolan [D-District 5] and Harder voted yes. It needed a majority 4-7 vote to pass. “I see it as a reckless move ...,” Harder said, of the decision. “I’ve been championing this project for at least a year and I can’t seem to get them to see the urgency in this.” At the recent meeting, Dolan said it doesn’t matter who or how many people the bridge services, those people deserve public safety. Page said he believes that the bridge could last for another 10 years, and that it was only moved up on the list of repairs as a “special favor for a campaign donor.” Page said, “Should it be repaired before everyone else’s roads and bridges in the county? The [St. Louis County Director of Transportation] in the past has said this bridge is safe. To say it’s unsafe now is what he would say after receiving pressure from the county executive who very much wants this bridge fixed.” Representatives from the St. Louis County Police Department, the Eureka Fire Protection District and the St. Louis Department of Transportation spoke at the meeting. Lewis Road Bridge “It’s a public safety issue,” Capt. Timothy Cunningham, commander of the West County Precinct, said. “From the County Police perspective, when we’re summoned to somebody’s residence, or a golf course in this particular situation, we need to get there.” Dr. Patrick Feder, chairman of the Eureka Fire Protection District Board of Directors, said his fire trucks and ambulances can no longer safely reach the property due to the bridge’s weight restrictions. “For us, as a fire department, it’s really a life-saving issue. It concerns me, as the chairman of the board, that we’ve instructed our employees, firefighters and paramedics not to cross that bridge ...,” Feder said. The bridge’s speed and weight limit have been reduced twice and the bridge has been put on a weekly watch list. Dan Dreisewerd, interim director of transportation for St. Louis County, said the next step would be to close the bridge altogether. “It really seems like the county staff was pressured by the county executive to amplify their concerns,” Page said, of the speakers at the meeting. “[The director of transportation’s] rhetoric has changed. If [the bridge] were unsafe, it would be closed.” Page added that there are other access points to the property other than the Lewis Road Bridge. “The acting director did not say there is no access. He said there is not very good access.” When Harder was asked if he will consider raising the issue again in the future, he said, “Never say never. But ... I’m very disappointed that the council took this position ... we’ve voted on a lot of bridges over the years that were a lot less structurally impaired. One of the main responsibilities of government is public safety and to maintain roads and bridges. I think they’ve let down he people of St. Louis County.” 20% OFF any membership* We specialize in Functional Training, combining boxing, kickboxing, weights, biking, rowing, plyometrics, and more into an intense, efficient and SMARTER workout. Convenient, 30-minute, full-body workout 12 intensive, diverse workout stations Friendly personal coaches available at all times State-of-the-art studio with heart rate tracking technology at every station Workout when YOU want (no inconvenient classes to sign up for!) *OFFER EXPIRES 4/30/18. RESTRICTIONS APPLY. Visit www.exelfit.com and enter promo code XLFIT1 at checkout. 2961 DOUGHERTY FERRY ROAD 636.529.1551 www.exelfit.com