The city of St. Louis and St. Louis County have plans for nearly $1.1 billion worth of transportation projects if a statewide sales tax increase passes this August.
St. Louis and St. Louis County officials revealed their wish list of projects that would be funded with the .75 percent sales tax increase. If the transportation tax passes in August, St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties and the city of St. Louis, are expected receive about $1.49 billion over a 10-year period from the state’s transportation commission.
If you had $1.49 billion for transportation projects, how would you spend it? Would you repair highways? Bolster mass transit service? Enhance bike lanes?
This isn’t some academic exercise. The St. Louis region’s political leaders are considering how to divide the potential proceeds from a 0.75 percent sales tax increase for transportation. These decisions could have a transformative impact on how St. Louis area residents get around.
But here’s the twist: You have to make this decision very, very quickly.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is asking businesses in the city to help put 500 young people to work this summer through a program called Stl Youth Jobs.
One corporation stepped up Wednesday.
JPMorgan Chase announced a $100,000 donation, and the company is asking other businesses to help.
"It is very important for this city that we build that base, that base of people that understand how to work, love to work and want to be part of this community," said Scott Bush, a managing director and market leader with the firm.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Missouri River Cities and Town Initiative director Colin Wellenkamp speak at the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals conference. The group's conference took place at the Union Station Hotel in Downtown St. Louis.
A major river commerce group endorsed a plan Tuesday to increase container-on-barge traffic on the Mississippi River.
The Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals Association supports shipping goods in containers on barges up and down the Mississippi River. That’s seen as an alternative to using trucks or rail. The group made the announcement at its annual conference in St. Louis.
On Friday, Arch Grants announced the finalists for its 2014 Arch Grants Business Plan Competition. The field has been whittled down to 46 entrepreneurs. Twenty of those finalists will win $50,000 each along with business support services to help them launch amazing businesses. In exchange for winning, they have to locate, or relocate, to St. Louis for at least a year.
Chris Sommers is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to the minimum wage.
Sommers is the owner of six Pi Pizzerias restaurants and Gringo in the Central West End. Instead of waiting for Congress or the Missouri General Assembly to act, he’s heeding President Barack Obama’s call for business owners to voluntarily raise the minimum wage his employees.
Starting on April 1, everybody who works at one of Sommers’ restaurants will make at least $10.10 an hour. It’s a move Sommers said will help entry-level workers make a decent living.
The Missouri Court of Appeals will hear arguments tomorrow on whether the city of St. Louis had the right to make changes to the pension benefits it offers its firefighters.
In lobbying for the changes in 2012, Mayor Francis Slay cited the financial burden pensions were beginning to place on the city. Its budget for fiscal year 2013 included a $31 million contribution to the system, up from $23 million the year before.