Municipal League to vote on bringing St. Louis City, County toge - KMOV.com

Municipal League to vote on bringing St. Louis City, County together

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Skyzoom 4 view of downtown St. Louis (Credit: KMOV) Skyzoom 4 view of downtown St. Louis (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOV.com) - The Municipal League of Metro St. Louis plans to vote Thursday on a proposal to allow the city of St. Louis to become the 91st municipality in the county.

The vote would be only an endorsement of the idea. Any plan to allow the city to become a county municipality would either have to be approved by city and county residents, or a petition would be needed to have the issue decided by a statewide vote.

"We needed to have more of a regional approach to the major economic and redevelopment projects for the region," said Pat Kelly, Executive Director for Municipal League of Metro St. Louis.  "St Louis City and St. Louis County combined populations have basically been stagnant for nearly 40 years and I think people overlook the importance when we're talking about economic development and redevelopment and really it just comes down to people."

The league's executive board has voted unanimously in favor of the proposal. The league has 86 municipalities and St. Louis city and county.

It is unknown if they merger would impact county and city police. 

"Then one of the other things is the stigma that St. Louis is one of the most high-crime areas in the country, but the reality of that is because the only statistics used is only for St Louis City. If you combined the crime statistics on a county basis - like all the other metropolitan areas throughout the U.S, St. Louis would go from first to 87th and out of almost 350 municipalities," said Kelly.

The city and county separated in 1876. Critics have long contended the separation created unnecessary rivalries and slowed economic development in the city and county.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press/KMOV.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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