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Economy & Business

Loop Trolley Faces Suit: Edwards Optimistic

(Missouri History Museum)

A federal lawsuit filed last week could create serious delays for the U-City Loop Trolley project.

It alleges that the vote taken to create the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District violated both state and federal laws.

Four individuals, including former University City Councilwoman Elsie Beck Glickert, filed the suit claiming it was unconstitutional to allow non-resident property owners to vote and weighting that vote based on the number of acres they owned.

St. Louis University Professor Peter Salsich says there’s the possibility the court could throw out the suit, but he says voting rights is a serious issue.

"If the court concludes that what the plaintiffs have stated in their complaint has a merit and deserves at least a hearing in the court system, then yes it could take months even years," he said.

The project’s mastermind, Joe Edwards, says those behind the effort to create the Transportation Development District followed the law.

"When this occurred five years ago, it was supervised by the courts, and we followed every rule the courts set out for us," Edwards said.

The suit comes at a time when the Loop Trolley project awaits word from the Federal Transportation Administration about whether $22 million in federal funding will be released and bidding can begin.

Edwards says he remains optimistic the grant will come through and ground will be broken in the spring.

Follow Maria Altman on Twitter: @radioaltman

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