Kiel partners and others sue the city of St. Louis over improvements to Scottrade Center
Updated 11:45 am August 16 with statement from Darlene Green— The owners of the Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis have taken legal action to launch the planned $ 100 million upgrade to the St. Louis Blues home.
Kiel Center Partners on Tuesday asked a St. Louis circuit judge to force controller Darlene Green to issue the bonds for the project. This is the second work-related lawsuit in a week: Three St. Louis residents sued Friday, claiming it is illegal to use public money to help private companies make more money.
Aldermen narrowly approved the use of the city’s money in February, but Green refused to sign, saying he was concerned about the impact it will have on the city’s credit rating. In a statement, Kiel Center Partners called the delay “unacceptable”.
In a statement on Wednesday, Green called it “unfortunate” that she is facing prosecution for doing her job to protect the city’s credit rating.
Our original story
St. Louis should not pay for improvements to the Scottrade Center, said three St. Louis residents, including a Democratic alderman, in a lawsuit filed Friday.
The lawsuit, filed in St. Louis Circuit Court against the city and the Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority, alleges that the state constitution prohibits public money from being used for the benefit of private companies. He also states 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.
The council of aldermen narrowly approved a bill in February that invests more than $ 100 million in city money over 30 years in the Scottrade Center, which is home to the St. Louis Blues and also hosts concerts and events. ‘other sporting events.
“We adopted this ordinance under a false premise,” said Alderman Cara Spencer, D-20th Ward. She is one of the participants in the trial. “We have been told repeatedly that the city owns the building and is obliged to modernize it. We are not.”
Aldermen who opposed the improvements repeatedly asked to read the original lease. Spencer said she was “appalled” when she finally got a copy.
The lawsuit asks a judge to declare the law inapplicable.
“We are calling on the city of St. Louis to come up with two sales tax increases in one year just to cover basic city safety. And here we are forcing the city to repay $ 106 million from its general revenue to improve the facilities of a for-profit entity, ”Spencer said.
In a statement, Kiel Center Partners called the lawsuit “frivolous, disappointing and embarrassing for our city,” and added that it could be extremely costly for taxpayers and Saint Louis’ reputation.
Deputy City Councilor Michael Garvin said in a statement he would not comment on the “merits” of the trial, adding: “We will vigorously defend the city, its ordinances and its agreements.”
Monitor Darlene Green has yet to sell the bonds to pay for the improvements, citing concerns about its impact on the city’s credit rating. In a statement released Friday, his office called on all parties to “work together to modernize the Scottrade Center within a framework that protects the credit of the City of St. Louis and does not reduce current revenues intended to provide essential services of the city, such as public safety, to our taxpayers.
Treasurer Tishaura Jones offered to use the money for the town’s parking lot and meters to fund the improvements. His chief of staff, Jared Boyd, said Jones had spoken to Green and Mayor Lyda Krewson about the possibility, but a 2017 lawsuit claiming the treasurer has no authority over parking put those discussions into a ” waiting model “.
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