Yesterday, I wrote about how the proposed extension of the BJC lease would fund the maintenance of Forest Park.
Relatively few people disagree with the general concepts of preserving the park or of helping an important corporate citizen. That’s why I have continued to work to find more common ground with those who accept the idea of a guaranteed stream of revenue for Forest Park, but who want different details included in the proposal.
At my request, two different committees have been working on those details and will present formal reports to me next week. I expect to be able to incorporate the recommendations of the four aldermen who are studying the financial terms and the recommendations of a committee of the Forest Park Advisory Board which is studying ways to improve the proposal into a revised proposal for BJC. If we get their agreement, I will submit it to the Board of Estimate & Apportionment and the Board of Aldermen.
Based upon my conversations with representatives of the groups involved, I expect to be able to include in the new proposal:More money for Forest Park from the new lease, which will go into a dedicated trust fund for Forest Park maintenance and be matched by dollars from Forest Park Forever
A requirement that BJC include at least 10 percent green space, if and when it develops the property
Protection for an acre and a half of land south of Clayton Rd., giving the new lease a slightly smaller footprint
New playground space
Improvements for designated tennis courts in Forest Park and free public access to them day and night, and an agreement to keep the existing Hudlin Tennis Courts open until the replacements are ready for the public
Improvements to, and expansion of, the handball courts in Forest Park
One million dollars from BJC dedicated to the relocation and development of the existing facilities at new sites
A study on the feasibility of making a one-way section of Clayton Rd. two-way to improve park access from the east
My office is also negotiating with the Missouri Department of Transportation for more land for Forest Park as part of the I-64 reconstruction project.