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Lewis Place finally receiving state aid

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)
The historic entrance arch to the Lewis Place neighborhood, which will receive state aid nearly a year after a tornado damaged 91 homes in the area.

Nearly a year after a tornado damaged 91 homes in the area, residents of the Lewis Place neighborhood in north St. Louis are getting some help from the state of Missouri.

The Board of Aldermen on Friday voted to accept $500,000 in state disaster assistance. The city's required $500,000 match came from community development funds. Mayor Francis Slay will sign the measure as soon as he can.

That added barrier to receiving the money disappointed Ald. Terry Kennedy, who represents the neighborhood.

"It was never in our minds that the state would take that kind of position to begin with," he said. "The citizens of St. Louis are state citizens like everybody else."

But Kennedy says he's glad the state ended up increasing its initial $250,000.

"This infusion, as small as it is, makes a significant impact in that area, and we want to be sure than once this is there and used, we want to continue bringing money into that area to see if we can get a real recovery," he said.

Kennedy says the money will go first go to residents without insurance, but he’s also looking for ways to help the under-insured. The Lewis Place area did not qualify for federal disaster assistance.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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