(KMOV.com) – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen passed a bill Friday that would allow for taxpayer money to be used to pay for private security in Lafayette Square.
The bill was introduced and passed due to rising crime in the south St. Louis neighborhood. Car break-ins have recently occurred outside popular restaurants in the neighborhood.
“Neighborhoods here are very conscious now, driving around a little bit more, doing some patrolling,” said Andrea Hughes, who both lives and owns a business in Lafayette Square.
The bill approved by the Board of Aldermen would designate the neighborhood a special business district, which would give residents the power to tax themselves to pay for improvements and private security.
“I think it’s one of the topics in respect to this tax that gets discussed the most. There is an uptick in crime this year and it is concerning for residents,” said 6th Ward Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia.
The Central West End became a special business district several years and spent $300,000 on additional security.
Some residents told News 4 they would welcome extra security, but others said they feel that role should belong to police, not a private contractor.
The measure must still be approved by voters in St. Louis City.