May 28, 2024
Funds

Public vote opens over how St. Louis should use Rams settlement funds


The Dome at America’s Center in Downtown St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Board of Alderman is asking residents to participate in a public vote on how the City of St. Louis should use its funds from the NFL Rams relocation settlement.

The Board of Alderman presents 20 ideas on an online voting page. Voters are asked to decide on investments “they want the Board of Aldermen to prioritize for serious consideration.”

The voting period runs from Friday to Feb. 2. Residents can cast their ten votes, either for a single idea or to spread across multiple ideas.

The Rams relocation settlement, which yielded $790 million in December 2021, led to St. Louis City splitting a sum of those funds with St. Louis County and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Authority. Around one-third of the Rams settlement earnings went toward attorneys’ fees.

Since the settlement, the City of St. Louis placed around $250 million into an interest-bearing account with the Missouri Securities Investment Program last year.

It remains to be seen how St. Louis city officials will invest their share of the Rams relocation settlement long-term. Board members asked for public feedback in a survey from August to October last year, and residents submitted more than 700 original ideas as to how to use the money.

Prior to the new year, residents had the opportunity to provide additional feedback during various board meetings. The board says, “after a preliminary assessment, twenty ideas have been selected based on their compatibility with the top priority challenges, aldermanic interest, feasibility, and public support.”

Among the investment ideas presented in the survey include….

  • Construction of new public school buildings
  • Support for a North-South Metrolink expansion project
  • Support for real estate development downtown and in North St. Louis
  • Improving downtown street and sidewalk infrastructure

Board members say the top vote-getting ideas “will be prioritized for further research and deep vetting for feasibility by City staff.” The board will ask residents who agreed with the most-desired ideas to work with the Board of Aldermen and share their visions this spring. After that, the Board of Alderman hopes to make a decision later this year on how to allocate the funds.

“I’m always thrilled to see the Board of Aldermen and city residents working together in this process, as our city has remained siloed for far too long. Each step of this process has centered residents’ concerns and provided numerous opportunities to participate directly in making our city better for all who live here,” said Alisha Sonnier, Alderwoman of the 7th Ward and Chair of the Committee of the Whole. “Priorities for me have been meeting residents where they are and ensuring that this process is as accessible and engaging as possible.”

The board says a policy team, led by Policy Director Cristina Garmendia, reviewed all ideas submitted by residents, including those now in the survey.



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