Judge Robert Dierker issued an opinion last week invalidating a pair of ordinances that would have been part of the underpinning for some of the financing that would have paid for new streets, sidewalks, sewers, and electrical systems in north St. Louis. The ordinances would have been among those necessary to allow the sale of bonds to be repaid by revenue generated by new developments, rather than by city taxpayers.
That is, at least, a road bump for a larger plan by developer Paul McKee, which requires the new public infrastructure in order to attract new employers, amenities, and residents to several traditionally underserved north St. Louis neighborhoods.
Mr. McKee told me this weekend that he intends to pursue the project. His lawyers told the City's legal department that they believe the judge's rulings leave some leeway for revision or appeal. Several aldermen, including those whose constituents are most affected by the current state of disinvestment and population loss, remain strongly committed to the underlying vision.
Without judging the legal merits or the developer's resolve, I can say with absolute assurance that the infrastructure is now less likely to be built.