North City redevelopment, street repairs & public safety; City holds first public meeting on how to spend the $250 million of Rams money

The City of St. Louis took a step towards determining how to spend the $250 million of Rams settlement money on Monday.
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 10:14 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The City of St. Louis took a step towards determining how to spend the $250 million of Rams settlement money on Monday.

The full Board of Aldermen held a committee meeting in which they did not primarily discuss ideas but instead the process of spending the money.

First Alert 4 went to North City to gather ideas from the public before the meeting.

“I think that Rams money should be used to empower North St. Louis,” said Todd El, who has lived in the Carr Square neighborhood in North City for 50 years.

El has seen money go to other St. Louis communities, while historic buildings like where Carr School once stood, which is now crumbling.

He’d like to see the Rams money go towards redeveloping buildings such as Carr School, and other dilapidated buildings in North City and said private investment would come after.

“I think this is a jewel for North St. Louis. When you look at the corridor from 14th street, going down to St. Louis, this definitely would be a good investment,” said El.

Nearly two years after St. Louis won the settlement money, the board of aldermen had their first meeting on how to spend the money.

The city is in the middle of an online survey in which they’re gathering responses. They discussed how to get as much community input as possible, including expanding paper surveys to the entire city.

But they largely avoided active discussion on the community’s ideas for the money.

Casey Millburg, Policy Director with Mayor Tishaura Jones’s office, said the goal is to address the city’s biggest challenges.

“Seeing where the community’s voice will lead us, and we’re committed to ensuring these funds are community-driven,” said Millburg.

The city is currently keeping its $250 million and the $30 million slated for Dome repairs in a trust.

And we learned Monday they’ve gained seven million dollars of interest already.

So, while ideas were not shared at the meeting, we asked other north city residents on what they wanted to see.

“Nothing better to help feed somebody that can’t support themselves and they hungry and stuff like that. And help the poor and the needy,” said Gertrude Williams.

“Fix the streets. I’m tired of these raggedy streets tearing my vehicle up,” said John, who was shopping at Schnucks Monday afternoon.

And city officials did share that many responses so far have pushed for public safety improvements, including making the roads safer.

As for El, he’s going to watch closely, hoping the city invests plenty on the north side.

“Hope that they really stick to their guns; they’ve made promises in the past, and we’d like to see those promises come to fruition,” said El.

And we’re still months, at least, until any ideas are picked.

Millburg gave a timeline in the meeting, saying city officials will begin to pick ideas in November and will evaluate them on feasibility and cost.

And then plans to hold hearings next spring - where they’ll eventually pick some of those ideas.