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City Seeks Grant for $14 Million Tourism Center, Transportation Hub Project

City would need to find $4 million for the local share of the grant.

St. Charles City Council on Tuesday decided , but backed an for the city.

The council gave its blessing to submit an application for a $14 million federal grant to develop the hub, which would be part of a plan to stimulate redevelopment particularly along a corridor of Fifth Street near and in other locations.

The tourism center and transportation hub would be at the at the corner of Fifth Street and Boone's Lick Road. The city will submit an application for a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery 4 Discretionary Grant or TIGER 4 to provide the bulk of funding for the project.

If awarded, a TIGER grant could fund up to 80 percent or about $10 million of the
project, said City Engineer Kevin Corwin. But council members said they weren’t
sure where they would find the $4 million local share.

Corwin suggested that city should move toward adopting a “form-based code”
zoning along a Fifth Street corridor that could help approval of the application
and SSM St. Joseph Health Center a better shot at obtaining corporate funding.

City Community Development Director Bruce Evans said form-based zoning
would allow more flexibility in zoning within an area—allowing varying setbacks
for buildings along streets, and closer grouping of residential and commercial
zoning.

The new zoning would come into force gradually as property changes ownership
and develops, he said.

The city and SSM St. Joseph Health Center held a series of town hall meetings on the proposed changes in June 2011.

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