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Archive for April, 2012

The Show-Me Institute and nextSTL present a free advance screening of the Battle for Brooklyn, a documentary about the abuse of eminent domain to make way for luxury housing and a stadium.
The screening will be held:
Monday, April 23
7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
The Luminary Center for the Arts
4900 Reber Place, Saint Louis MO 63139
 

PLEASE RSVP AT: http://showmeinstitute.org/eminent-domain-apr12

Afterwards, we will host a panel discussion about the threat of eminent domain in the Saint Louis area. Panelists include:

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A few desperate individuals are looking under couches and between the seat cushions hunting for money towards rebuilding interest in Aerotropolis. A pot of just $3 million in tax dollars shuffled around in a probably legal but highly confusing manner just to get the Aerotropolis bait funded again. Will this $3 million slip back between the seat cushions as mature trees flourish and the concrete roads that were once Carrollton continue to dissolve back into nature’s reclaim?

According to a confusing series of articles in the Post-Dispatch regarding the (nonexistent) Asian cargo air hub at Lambert, it looks like Aerotropolis proponents will be handed $3 million in yet another effort to lure Asian shipping flights into Lambert.  Where did they get the $3 million in pocket change and how exactly will it be used? Perhaps I can explain how they got the money slightly better than the Post did. How it will be used is unclear to everyone, including those who appropriated the funds.

Due to massive Missouri floods in 2008, Missouri received a large sum of grant money from the federal government for redevelopment of affected lands plus general flood relief. The Lemay area was one of the areas affected by flooding and due to receive grant money. Lemay is in St. Louis County.

However, Lemay has already approved a $3 million appropriation of tax funds from the nearby River City Casino for roadway improvements. Casino money does not have the stringent regulations on how that money can be used as federal grant money does. Therefore, the appropriation of funds from the Casino is more flexible than federal funds.

On April 4th, the St. Louis County Council approved a measure to transfer Lemay’s $3 million Casino funds towards a pot designed to lure air cargo for Lambert. As a trade-off, Lemay will receive $3 million from the feds in flood money to reconstruct their roads and infrastructure.

I admit, this is a clever way of finding money, if somewhat strange. It seems to me that Lambert, together with the RCGA had to really spend some time searching every possible route and talking with every entity to find this money. Shifting millions of funds allocated for other intentions through loopholes should be considered controversial. Re- appropriating tax funds happen in government, but given the final purpose of these funds seems all together desperate.

So, how exactly will $3 million that has been indirectly shifted from the River City Casino be used at Lambert? (more…)

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