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St. Louis Front Page presents St. Louis CitySide, an overview of the City Government of Saint Louis. From time to time, we will take an indepth look at many of the projects in which the city is involved and how these projects will affect residents and visitors.

ARCHIVED NEWS
Red DotCity of St. Louis Introduces First Chief Resilience Officer
Red DotSt. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay Recognized for Support of AmeriCorps and National Service
Red DotCity of St. Louis Is Preferred Site for New $1.75 Billion Facility
Red DotNGA Announces Decision to Keep Western Headquarters in St. Louis
Red DotNew Law to Make it Easier to Do Business in the City of St. Louis

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UPDATE:

City Hopes 'Loveland' App Will Help Keep Vacant Land Data Current
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), October 14, 2016 - In a continuing effort to tackle vacancy and abandonment, the City of St. Louis and its partners are training residents in the Dutchtown neighborhood to use a new app designed to collect data and real-time information on vacant buildings and lots.

Loveland, a unique mobile app paid for by the City, was first used by two teams of AmeriCorps volunteers working with the Mayor's Office over the summer. The teams conducted a survey of nearly 32,000 parcels of land, noting vacancy/abandonment or occupied homes. Volunteers documented the conditions and took photographs of vacant/abandoned buildings and lots to create a new database.

The Dutchtown South Community Corporation (DSCC) will train interested residents to use the app to help the City expand its database and keep parcel information up to date.

"We're using the information collected by volunteers and residents to establish a comprehensive set of data about our neighborhoods and communities to better identify opportunities, engage the community, and collaborate on innovative strategies to turn vacancy to vibrancy," Mayor Francis Slay said. "I want to thank DSCC and residents for being community leaders for taking part in this effort with us."

Using the Loveland app and implementing the database are pieces of Mayor Slay's concentrated effort to tackle vacancy and abandonment, which also include the following:

  • Selection into the Community Progress Leadership Institute has provided technical assistance to the City.
  • Mow to Own allows City residents to take immediate ownership of LRA-owned parcels adjacent to their property if the resident agrees to continually maintain them.
  • The City brought in Fresh Coast Capital to plant tree farms on 42 vacant LRA-owned lots. Mow to Own and the tree farms also fit into Mayor Slay's Sustainability Action Agenda on Urban Character, Vitality & Ecology in making LRA land available at no cost for productive reuse of the land.
  • The City is partnering with MSD to demolish roughly 1,600 of the worst abandoned buildings over the next five years.
  • Two AmeriCorps teams joined in with Mayor Slay's Vacancy & Blight Taskforce, a public-private partnership made up of City employees, non-profits, residents and developers, to begin creating a comprehensive database of vacant/abandoned lots and buildings.
Residents also are encouraged to report vacancy conditions, especially if a building needs to be securely boarded, to the Citizens' Service Bureau by calling (314) 622-4800 or tweeting @stlcsb.

Grant to Study North/South Metrolink Development
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), October 12, 2016 - A nearly $375,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration will allow the City of St. Louis and Bi-State Development to study the development impacts a North/South MetroLink line would have throughout the City.

The Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) application, put together by the City, Bi-State Development, which operates Metro, and East-West Gateway, received regional support from the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Civic Progress, and the St. Louis Promise Zone, all of which support North/South MetroLink and expanded transit access in the region.

The FTA awarded the competitive grants to projects, like the North/South study, to help localities plan improved access to transit, jobs, education and services, and help revitalize communities by attracting new business opportunities, jobs, and housing. In addition, the program seeks to enhance connectivity of disadvantaged populations to essential services.

"As we've learned from the experience of cities across the country, expanding access to transit is about more than moving people from point A to point B; it's about catalyzing development in struggling neighborhoods, deconcentrating poverty, promoting healthy living, and creating vibrant and accessible public spaces," Mayor Francis Slay said.

The award funds are made available through the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) TOD Planning Pilot Program for communities that are developing new or expanded mass transit systems.

"The U.S. Department of Transportation would not award these funds if it did not believe in the enormous potential of this project, as I do," Mayor Slay said. "This award continues the momentum the North/South MetroLink line and the undisputed benefits it could bring to our region. The TOD planning also will tie neatly to the City's Project Connect work around the site of the future National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's West campus -- an area that currently has the lowest rate of car-ownership in the City."


City of St. Louis Named Finalist for $30M HUD Grant
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), September 29, 2016 - The City of St. Louis has been declared a finalist for the prestigious Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for an area in North St. Louis.

The application put forth by the City was selected as one of the top five out of 34 cities for its development of a viable, feasible plan for the transformation of the Near North Side.

As HUD describes, the Choice Neighborhoods program supports locally-driven strategies to address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation.

Over the past year, Mayor Francis Slay's Administration - in partnership with Urban Strategies and McCormack Baron Salazar - convened more than 100 meetings of local leaders, residents and stakeholders, such as universities and community colleges, the St. Louis Public School District and charter schools, business owners, hospitals and non-profits, as well as the St. Louis Housing Authority to formulate the plan and secure leveraged investments for the Choice area.

In a release, Mayor Francis Slay said "I am very proud to be a part of this historic and significant community-centered Transformation Plan and know that the partnerships and investments in people, education, housing, and neighborhood will bring positive and lasting change to the Near North Side community, making it a community of choice and opportunity for generations to come."

Mayor Francis Slay stated, "St. Louis's work on Project Connect, along with its designation as an SC2 City, Promise Zone, Preferred Sustainable Community, and Byrne Grantee provide us with a strong foundation of partners and support to realize the Transformation Plan."

The City's Near North Side Choice Neighborhood Initiative (www.nearnorthsidestl.com/) encompasses Carr and Columbus Square neighborhoods, along with portions of Old North, St. Louis Place and the new home of the Next National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) West intelligence campus. This area is uniquely situated to realize the extraordinary potential to create a more sustainable future for residents. More than $1 billion has been invested along the riverfront bordering the Carr and Columbus Square neighborhoods in the past five years. These investments include the $700 million Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge that directly connects I-70 to the neighborhood, as well as the $380 million CityArchRiver effort to connect, invigorate, and expand the Gateway Arch grounds.

"If awarded, this grant could provide critical resources to capitalize on current investment and improve the economic growth and development in a vital area of the city, which includes the new site for the NGA West headquarters," U.S. Senator Roy Blunt said. "I look forward to working with Mayor Slay and St. Louis-area leaders to help move this project forward."

"The selection of the City of St. Louis as a finalist for this grant shows that the Department of Housing and Urban Development recognizes what so many of us already know - that this vibrant city continues to expand, but as it grows, these critical resources would go a long way to help revitalize our struggling neighborhoods," U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said. "I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues to get this award across the finish line for our beloved city."

Next month, HUD staff will personally visit the St. Louis site to gain a more thorough understanding of the Transformation Plan. The final announcement is expected in December.


St. Louis Mayor Franics G Slay
Saint Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay
St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay Recognized for Support of AmeriCorps and National Service
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), July 31, 2016 - Francis G. Slay, Mayor of St. Louis, has been presented the 2016 Local Leadership Award by the Missouri Community Service Commission (MCSC) Executive Director Don Stamper and Vice Chairman John R. Albright on behalf of Voices for National Service, a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who work to ensure Americans of all ages have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community.

Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our nation's leaders and helped position national service as a viable policy solution to tackle unmet needs, expand opportunity, and leverage human capital.

Mayor Slay has been a vocal advocate for placing citizens at the center of solving challenges in St. Louis, and has fought to protect federal funding for national service programs. In July 2015, he accepted co-chairman responsibilities of the newly launched Missouri National Service Coalition that is helping to organize the national service community in Missouri.

In honor of Mayor Slay's steadfast commitment to national service, the Voices for National Service Steering Committee voted unanimously to present him with the 2016 Local Leadership Award.

"Mayor Francis Slay is serious about collaborating with his constituents and using national service as a catalyst to solve problems in St. Louis communities," said AnnMaura Connolly, President, Voices for National Service. "Mayor Slay has been a strong advocate for national service, encouraging elected officials from across Missouri to invest in these cost-effective initiatives. He is a truly worthy recipient of the Voices for National Service's Local Leadership Award."

In a release, Mayor Slay said, "It is an honor to accept this award, and I do so on behalf of all the residents in the City of St. Louis. Thank you to the Missouri National Service Coalition, AmeriCorps, VISTA, and NCCC members. Together, you all have been a huge help and have made a big difference in the City of St. Louis. We are grateful for your service and for your assistance tackling tough issues, especially around vacancy and abandonment. We are also grateful for the work National Service members do to engage others in the community to volunteer their time for the good of our City."

In addition to Mayor Slay, this year Voices for National Service also honored Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Michael Bennett (D-CO), Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, CSX Corporation Chairman Michael Ward, and Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne.

In 2014, the Corporation for National Community Service ranked St. Louis as the 14th best large metros for volunteerism, with the Kansas City metro area taking the number eight spot.


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