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County Council OKs nearly $66 million from rescue plan for south county, police and education

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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
The council approved nearly $24 million for police-related projects.

St. Louis County Council members provided their final blessing Tuesday to spending the remaining federal money aimed at helping local governments recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council approved bills allocating all but $600,000 of the county’s remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds. Before Tuesday, the county had appropriated about $127 million of its roughly $193 million.

The bills that were sent to St. Louis County Executive Sam Page amounted to close to $66 million. The projects the council members approved include:

  • More than $5.6 million to address food insecurity in the 1st and 4th council districts, which encompass a sizable portion of the county.
  • Roughly $18.5 million for infrastructure projects in south St. Louis County. That part of the county is largely unincorporated and receives most of its services from the county, as opposed to municipal governments.
  • Nearly $24 million for police-related projects, including a new county police station in the central part of the county.

The council also approved about $11 million to help tear down derelict buildings in unincorporated areas. Councilwoman Shalonda Webb, D-St. Louis County, said this was an important step in strengthening neighborhoods in districts like hers.

“And this is one of the larger issues that we need to address to turn around and increase our property values,” said Webb, whose 4th District includes large amounts of unincorporated territory.

Council members also signed off on providing $5.6 million to a nonprofit group that helps boost pay and retention for early childhood education workers.

“These programs have a track record of recruiting early childhood education teachers, removing barriers to access to quality training, and incentivizing them to make it a meaningful career,” said Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, D-Maplewood.

Council members held off on passing bills on some other initiatives.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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