Alderman drops lawsuit over Scottrade upgrades, paving way for funding deal
Updated December 11 at 9:30 a.m. with a copy of the agreement – A St. Louis alderman and two other townspeople have dropped a lawsuit challenging the use of public funds to modernize the Scottrade Center.
A circuit court judge was due to hear arguments in the case on Monday. The deal removes one of the last legal hurdles to a plan passed in February that requires the city to sell roughly $ 100 million in bonds to fund upgrades such as a new dashboard and manufacturing equipment of ice.
The prosecution of Cara Spencer, D-20th Ward and two other opponents of public funding for sports stadiums has alleged that the state constitution prohibits public money from being used for the benefit of private companies. He also claimed that the 1992 lease between the city and the owners of the St. Louis Blues clearly states that St. Louis is not responsible for the improvements to Scottrade.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Spencer said the financial stakes were “too high” to continue the legal battle. Lawyers for Kiel Center Partners, owner of Scottrade Center, had claimed the lawsuit was frivolous and demanded that Spencer and the other two personally pay attorney fees for both parties.
The agreement stipulates that both sides will pay their own expenses and prevents opponents from making any further legal efforts to block the Scottrade project. Spencer must also abandon his efforts to find another way to fund the improvements.
“I have no doubt that if we had taken this matter to the Supreme Court, the taxpayers of the city of St. Louis would have won their case,” Spencer said. “The City cannot continue to make ill-informed financial decisions and remain solvent. And while the Scottrade transaction is behind us, I hope we have learned from these events and that the city and the general public are better for our efforts. “
A spokesperson for Kiel Center Partners said he believes the deal removes the last hurdle to selling the bonds. But Comptroller Darlene Green is still challenging a judge’s order made last week that forced her to sign the funding agreement.
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