From a letter sent by Gerald Feldhaus, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Saint Louis Building and Construction Trades Council:
I am writing today on behalf of the 40,000 working men and women of the Building and Construction Trades in Saint Louis, to strongly urge your support for the proposed lease extension for Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Board Bills 375 and 376 will extend the existing long term lease which BJH currently holds on property commonly referred to as the Hudlin property, and on which it operates an underground parking facility serving the medical center.
The modified lease agreement will allow BJH and the Washington University Medical Center the ability to provide for the improvement and expansion of its critically needed medical facilities, and maintain its status as one of the nation’s premier health care centers.
It will also provide a stable, guaranteed and long term revenue stream for the maintenance of Forest Park, when combined with a funding commitment from Forest Park Forever, and increase available funding for other parks and recreation facilities across the city.
In addition to the important medical and community health aspects of this proposal, this will help BJH to maintain and increase its employment base in the City of Saint Louis - where it currently counts more than 15,000 full time employees in the City alone!
Making this all possible will also create opportunities for the men and women of the construction and trades industry, who will be called upon to build these improved and expanded facilities. We estimate that hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested in the coming years in the BJH campus, and expect that the men and women of the skilled trades in Saint Louis will play an important role.
Please join me, and the 40,000 members of the Saint Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, in supporting this important legislation and continuing the proud legacy of world class health care provided by BJH and Washington University, as well as opportunities for jobs and economic growth for our entire city.