Amendment 4 is probably the most overlooked of the issues on the November ballot. I haven’t seen or heard an ad for it; I haven’t received a mailer or letter at home. That’s why I am glad that advocate Kyna Iman recently stopped me at a neighborhood meeting to pass along some background information.
Back in 1988, the state’s voters approved the sale of $200 million in storm water bonds. Twenty years later, only $45 million in authorized bonds have been sold. Given the urgent need for better storm water infrastructure, this is disappointing. According to Kyna, the reason has to do with some federal tax regulations that have made the bonds pretty much impossible to use since 2002.
By changing some words in the state constitution, passage of Amendment 4 will make it possible for St. Louis and seventeen of the state’s largest counties to use the bonds already authorized, and for those places with the most urgent needs to use them now.
According to MSD, there are almost $20 million in storm water grant-assisted projects on the books in the City of St. Louis that would benefit from the new rules. That’s a big deal in an era of tough municipal budgets. I hope you keep that in mind when you vote on November 4.