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Aldermen approve Forest Park lease deal


By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – The Board of Aldermen overwhelmingly approved a plan Friday to lease nine acres of Forest Park to Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

The roll call was 22-2 with Aldermanic President Jim Shrewsbury and Alderman Jeffrey Boyd voting against it.

The 90-year lease would require the hospital to put $2 million into the Forest Park maintenance fund each year.

Co-sponsor Jim Roddy says the measure's fate is in the hands of the Board of Estimate now.

"If they support it then more than likely this will happen," Roddy said. "If they don't, more than likely this will die."

The measure is now up to the three-member Board of Estimate.

Carla Scissors-Cohen with Citizens to Protect Forest Park says her group is not giving up the fight.

"We'd like to encourage folks to let members of the Board of E and A (Estimate and Apportionment) know what they think about it," Scissors-Cohen said. "Darlene Green, Jim Shrewsbury and the mayor, I understand, now have the fate of the park in their hands."

Mayor Francis Slay has said he'll vote for the lease. Aldermanic President Jim Shrewsbury is against it.

Comptroller Darlene Green has met with both sides and says she hopes to reach a compromise.

The board meets Wednesday.


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