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St. Charles Votes Down Bonds for City Parking Garage Repairs

Other city propositions pass. City will still have to borrow money to make the repairs, but it may cost more money.

St. Charles voters approved propositions to allow the city to issue general obligation bonds to build a new public works facility and a fire house, but narrowly voted against bonds to fix the crumbling city hall parking garage. 

Just 313 votes separated the 'no' votes from the 'yes' votes on Proposition 2, which would allow the city to issue $3.3 million in bonds for parking garage repairs, than voted for it. 

About 49.5 percent voted in favor of the bonds for the parking garage and 50.5 percent voted against it. 

Council members have said the projects are necessary to complete and would be done even if voters failed to approve the propositions. 

"We still have to let the voters know this thing needs to get built one way or the other," City Councilman Mike Klinghammer said earlier this year. "We still have to issue the debt to do it."

City Administrator Michael Spurgeon said using general obligation bonds would allow the city to save $1 million during the 20-year life of the bonds. 

It's unclear how much more the city will have to pay to borrow money to fix the city hall garage. Portions of the garage are blocked off in places where the concrete is crumbling. 

City Election Results

  •  Proposition 1: Issuing $8.3 million for building a public works facility. 58.74 percent yes, 41.26 percent no.
  • Proposition 2: Issuing $3.3 million for repairing City Hall parking garage. 49.46 percent yes, 50.54 percent no.
  • Proposition 3: Issuing $4.1 million for constructing and furnishing a fire station. 66.20 percent yes, 33.80 percent no. 
  • Proposition W: Allows city to offer insurance for water lines which would reimburse property owners up to 80 percent of approved water service line repair costs. 63.85 percent yes, 36.15 percent no.
  • City Council Ward 4: Mary West was unopposed in her bid to fill the unexpired term of Bob Kneemiller which ends in April 2014. West was appointed to fill the role until the Nov. 6 election. She won 98.72 percent of the vote. There were 28 write in votes. 

See all of the St. Charles County Election Results here. 

Joe Strehl November 07, 2012 at 07:01 AM
Perhaps St. Charles needs to take lesson from Oklahoma City where they pass a 1 cent sales tax increase to help fund critical needs and new projects when bonds and federal grants fall short. The big selling point though is that the sales tax increase lasts only for a few years then it would expire and return to the normal rate. I think that the city should look into this and maybe propose this option in 2 or 3 years. A new community center, a multi-modal transportation hub, funding for a new park, FIXING THE PARKING GARAGE, and improving First Capitol and Fifth Streets could all be included along with more projects...
Joe Strehl November 07, 2012 at 07:19 AM
Also, it doesn't have to be exactly like OKC's plan (MAPS was a 1 cent sales tax increase that lasted for 7 years and raised about $777 million). Something more manageable should be pursued in our case. For example, a 1/2 or even 1/4 cent increase in sales tax for a shorter amount of time like 4 or 5 years could yield enough to help fund a lot of the city's projects. Again, this is just an idea to kick around that I think should be considered in the future.

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