I am writing this in early October and I have been taking advantage of the superb weather and making good use of the many trails available in our community. The recent big events of “Taste of St. Louis” and “Pedal the Cause” were huge successes that were enjoyed by an estimated 175,000 attendees and served great purposes (raised $3 million for cancer research), respectively. We were also privileged to have the St. Louis Scottish Games and Cultural Event at Spirit Airport in late September. We are excited that we anticipate each of these events will return next year.
Our city continues to benefit and grow with quality commercial and residential developments such as the recently opened Mercy Virtual Care Center, continued expansion of the St. Luke’s Hospital West Campus, a small handful of new subdivisions, two new hotels, and additional retail at Chesterfield Blue Valley. Chesterfield Grove, a 95-bed assisted living facility has been proposed at the intersection of Chesterfield Parkway West and Justus Post Road. In addition to this is the prospect of a new high end multi-family residential development at the intersection with Lydia Hill. We have recently applied for a Regional Parks Grant in the amount of $500,000, that if approved will allow moving forward to a ground breaking of the VETERAN’S HONOR PARK.
I purposely did not address the ongoing sales tax issue in the last newsletter for two reasons. First, I thought that some of you may be tiring from discussion on the subject and second, there was no ultimate success in the legislative session that ended this past May. Just to review, this legislation would have allowed our city and six others to retain a minimum of 50% of the 1% countywide pool sales tax generated within municipal boundaries. This concept would honor the fact that expenses are incurred by us as a host municipality for police protection, road maintenance, and other categories of expense that are not incurred by the county and other municipalities that share in the revenue, but not the expense of providing these required services.
In the 2015 legislative session, two of the three State Senators representing portions of Chesterfield, Senator Eric Schmitt and Senator Jill Schupp, acted to block passage of legislation that would have helped our city. We can only hope that they will join Senator Dave Schatz (who has been a strong supporter and sponsor) in supporting this very modest and responsible legislation. State Representative Sue Allen and Representative Mike Leara have been the other strong leaders in support of our just cause. Meanwhile, the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state statute that dictates the manner of redistribution of revenues seems to be moving very slowly. I wish I had more to report on this topic, but all we know at this point is that St. Louis County was approved to intervene as a defendant and a handful of other cities have also asked to be approved as defendants. I suppose it is fair to say that it has attracted attention. Please feel free to contact me if I can provide any information relevant to the current statute or our efforts to affect legislative improvements.
As we approach the holiday season, I wish each of our wonderful Chesterfield residents a warm and hearty Happy Holidays!
Mayor Bob Nation