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New plan for Forest Park lease expected

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – A plan to lease a small portion of Forest Park to BJC may be around the corner.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is expecting two reports from an aldermanic committee and the Forest Park Advisory Board some time next week.

The hospital was offering to pay $1.8 million a year for a 12-acres area east of Kingshighway in a 90-year lease deal.

But some opponents say the deal sets a bad precedent of leasing away parkland.

But Mayor Slay says his office is working with the Missouri Department of Transportation to get portion of the land around I-64 returned to the park.

"We're hoping to add some additional greenspace as well," Slay said. "That's not finalized but it's something we're continually cognizant of."

The mayor's website says the new plan will likely include more money for the lease and new playgrounds the neighborhood surrounding the disputed land.

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