The first quarter statistics for the City new fiscal year (which began July 1) suggest that last year’s growth in revenue is continuing this year. Although the Budget Office is not ready to start talking about big surpluses, it is cautiously confident that most sorts of revenue are meeting projections — and some sources are doing much better than expected.
This good news reflects both a growing City population and the greater availability of goods and services in revitalizing City neighborhoods. There have certainly been some pleasant surprises: the new Downtown Macy’s is already better than the old Famous; the new Target on Hampton clearly eclipses its nearby county cousins; and the new Schnuck’s (adjacent to City’s first Lowe’s Home Improvement store, which opens this week) is making plenty of friends with a grocery inventory that reflects both traditional St. Louis and new American palates.
One footnote in the statistics is a better understanding of the costs of the storms of last July. After almost $6 million of federal emergency reimbursements are paid, the City’s storm costs will exceed $2.5 million — including the replacement value of nearly all of the Traffic Division’s inventory of traffic signals and mast arms, which were installed to replace signals lost in the storm.