Nearly $40M in COVID relief funding could be coming to North City

Money that was previously vetoed by Mayor Jones is on the table again for business owners, non-profits and community organizations in need
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 10:37 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A city Board of Alderman bill that could spur revitalization to an area residents and business owners say needs it, could be in motion Wednesday.

It’s a bill that has nearly $40M attached to it that could change the projection of North City and its development. Residents, business owners and community activists said city leaders need to pass the bill that entails “life-changing” amounts of money.

“Even a blind person can look at these situations and see what kind of situations we in and how we really need to be financially bailed out,” Deborah Creswell said.

Creswell’s a resident and business owner in North City.

“Business has been slow, you know, people have been working from home and they don’t come in. It’s been a struggle,” Creswell explained.

Creswell has owned Tripe City on Natural Bridge Road for a decade. The pandemic took a toll on her restaurant and she said COVID relief funding could help her in the long run.

“Man, if I could get a grant, you know, that would be an uplift for me because I could better serve my community,” Creswell said.

Last week, a Board of Alderman committee unanimously passed Board Bill 82. A bill that slates $37M for north side small businesses, non-profits and neighborhood economic empowerment. The targeted zone is roughly from Natural Bridge, south to Martin Luther King Jr, bookended by the city-county border of Interstate 70.

“What better use to use once in a lifetime funds, with a once in a lifetime project,” Farrakhan Shegog said.

Shegog’s a community developer and activist with the Young Voices With Action. They are planning to build a mixed-use development on MLK right near the St. Louis County line.

“Modern apartment units up top, spacious commercial units on the bottom, and we also foresee this project bringing into existence of a thriving economic corridor similar to Delmar Loop,” Shegog explained.

Both Shegog and Creswell said they are ready to see city leaders pass final legislation for funding specifically for the north side.

“To me, that the city is willing to invest this money into neighborhoods that have been historically neglected. This is a direct investment into north St. Louis,” Shegog said.

On Wednesday, Mayor Tishaura Jones, Board President Lewis Reed and Comptroller Darlene Green will vote on this $37M proposal. Then, it will go to the Board of Alderman for a final vote.

“We are gonna get the help. The north side is going to get the help she promised us,” Creswell said.