MSD to Close McCausland for Sewer Construction

In order to safely excavate the roadway to install a new 90 inch diameter storm sewer, MSD crews are closing McCausland Ave. between Southwest Av. and Arsenal Av. on Monday, February 9th. Local home access will be maintained throughout the project. New storm sewer construction is part of a plan to reduce localized flooding and sewer back-ups from the combined sewer system. More information below:

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Citizens for Ogilvie Fundraiser at Felix’s

Join us from 7pm to 9pm, Wednesday, January 14th at Felix’s Pizza Pub to support Alderman Scott Ogilvie’s re-election effort and kick-off the 2015 campaign.

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24th Ward Capital Expenditures FY 13 & FY 14

The following is a list projects for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 funded through the 1/2% capital improvement sales tax paid in St. Louis. The funds are divided equally between wards and vary each year. The money is intended to be used for public improvements to sidewalks, streets, parks, lighting, and other amenities. Some expenditures are matched from other funding sources, like a separate parks improvement fund or private contributions. The projects below were completed between July of 2012 and June of 2014. These figures do not include department expenditures on maintenance or repairs (like pot holes). The figures below are taken from data from the St. Louis public works department (BPS). The project list for fiscal year 12 is here. Projects like the water main replacement along Dale Ave. and the MSD work along the River Des Peres are funded through separate agencies. 24th Ward Capital Exp 13 14.pdf

 

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Re-Election Campaign Around the Corner

Hello St. Louis. Time flies, and its been almost four years since I was elected to the 24th ward alderman seat. A new campaign is almost upon us and the primary election is March 3rd, 2015.

I love serving as alderman and I want to continue to be an advocate for our community in this role. I’m asking for your vote in the March 3rd primary and April 7th general election.

I’ve consistently been an advocate for local government reform and an independent voice at City Hall on local and state issues. What are some highlights from the last four years?

In 2012 myself and several other alderman led the campaign to pass Proposition R, the Charter Amendment to reduce the size of the Board of Aldermen to 14 members. After similar measures had failed 4 times in the past, . 71% of voters in the 24th ward favored it.

2013 brought a proposal for an from St. Louis County called the South County Connector. The project would have taken St. Louis City parkland, destroyed the River Des Peres Trail, and had a negative impact on neighborhoods throughout southwest St. Louis City. My opposition and work to cooperate with groups and neighboring municipalities like Trailnet, Maplewood, and Shrewsbury helped halt the project and maintain local property values, park access, and quality of life.

One legislative proposal I brought forward in 2013 was to for City offices. St. Louis, and most of Missouri, is almost unique in allowing unlimited contributions to candidates for local offices. Unlimited donations take power away from regular voters and members of our community. Unfortunately my bill to rein in this broken policy did not pass.

In 2014 I was a key member of a successful statewide , a statewide sales tax increase to increase funding to MoDOT and build a number of highway projects that could hurt St. Louis. With limited funding, we provided key messaging across the state on the problems with this tax increase. 59% of state voters, including 75% of 24th ward residents voted against it. We hope the result is ultimately a shift away from excessive highway spending that has damaged property values in St. Louis City.

We have two great public works projects on the near horizon within the ward. The Clayton Ave., Skinker Blvd., I-64, and Oakland Ave. intersection will . We began planning to design and fund this project in 2011 and it will break ground in 2015. $2 million in improvements will include new traffic signals, new pedestrian crosswalks and signals, better access into Forest Park, new sidewalks and crosswalks along Oakland Ave., and bike lanes. The intersection will be safe and easier to navigate for all users.

Coming after that is the next extension of the River Des Peres Trail. The trail will run north from the Shrewsbury MetroLink station to Slay Park, connecting our ward to an expanding trail system running through southeast St. Louis City and County. This $3 million project will include substantial reconstruction of McCausland Ave. south of Canterbury, Ellendale Ave., and Wabash Ave. Nearby neighborhoods will have a safe trail connection leading south and the project will include features to reduce traffic speed and increase safety along Ellendale Ave.

I’ve also been able to pass legislation that tackles bike and pedestrian safety and access from a number of angles, and worked on successful legislation to improve controls at scrapyards and reduce copper and metal theft. Next up is legislation to ease business permitting for freelance work and part time occupations. But of course, there is plenty more work to do.

I’m asking for your help and support to win reelection in 2015. You are the best advocate with your friends and neighbors – can you encourage them to vote in March and April? Can you make a contribution to help us spread the word about the election? Thanks for your support the last four years, and I look forward to next four!

Sincerely,

Scott Ogilvie
24th Ward Alderman

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15th Ward Endorsement

The will elect a new alderman in a special election on October 7th to fill the open seat Jennifer Florida resigned from in August to become Recorder of Deeds. I enthusiastically endorse in this election and urge residents of the 15th ward to vote for her on October 7th.

Rhonda currently works at , where I’ve seen her work with both St. Louis City and St. Louis County government up close over the last several years. Rhonda was instrumental in a major policy change in St. Louis County in January, when the County Council passed a ‘Complete Streets’ ordinance. She’s also already actively playing a role in improving St. Louis City’s approach to cyclist and pedestrian safety, and has existing relationships with several city departments.

Rhonda is smart, involved, highly motivated, experienced, and will hit the ground running when elected. She’s exactly the type of person we need in local government: progressive, practical, hard working, focused on results, and full of integrity.

Many people have asked me for advice about running for office in the last several years,  but Rhonda is easily among the most capable. I have no doubt she’d do a great job as alderman. Don’t miss the election on Tuesday, October 7th.


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MSD Project Begins in Ellendale Neighborhood

The Metropolitan Sewer District has begun work on a new storm sewer project in the Ellendale neighborhood and Maplewood. The $12 million project will add capacity to the storm sewer system in the area while reducing basement back-ups during heavy rainfall, localized flooding, and reducing combined overflow events into the River Des Peres. The project will tunnel under the base of the Arsenal bridge, heading north along McCausland, turning west along Southwest Ave., then north along Bellevue Ave. in Maplewood. Most the new storm sewer will be located under the street surface, and the street will be excavated to install the new drainage pipe. The St. Louis City portion of this project should be completed in spring or summer of 2015. The project begins on the south portion of the map below and work will proceed northward. Neighbors will be notified by the contractor of any temporary impacts during the project.

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Ride Your Bike to Fair St. Louis

If you live in a neighborhood near Forest Park, the best parking at Fair St. Louis will be the free bike valet staffed by Trailnet. Ride directly to the Fair and drop your bike off for free at either of two locations: The corner of Skinker & Lagoon Dr. or just east of the History Museum. If you ride your bike you’ll have the only free parking in Forest Park during the events. More info available at

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MoDOT Sales Tax Increase Project List Dissapoints

In May the Missouri Legislature passed , which would increase the state sales tax rate by 3/4% to provide additional funding to MoDOT. Despite the fact that Missouri has some of the lowest fuel taxes in the country, MoDOT has been pushing instead for a sales tax increase since 2013. If approved by voters in November of 2014, the 3/4% increase would increase taxes by about 6 billion dollars over ten years. The bill instructs each regional planning agency to develop a project list to be published before the November election. In the St. Louis region that agency is East-West Gateway. I’ve been selected as one of dozens of people to participate in the project vetting process to select regional highway, transit, bicycle, pedestrian, freight, bridge, and port projects that could be built with the funding.

On May 21st we were provided with an initial project list of high, medium, and low priority projects that were being considered. The projects were primarily generated by MoDOT with East West Gateway staff input. I’ve attached the project lists below. I was not expecting to be thrilled with the initial list, but it was much worse than I had anticipated. The high-priority projects are incredibly skewed towards highway infrastructure. Transit was clearly a very secondary priority in MoDOT’s project list. The current list in no way represents a compelling vision for St. Louis voters to approve. In fact, much of the spending on highways would further erode urban land values and increase suburban sprawl. Its spending that actually hurts our region.

Residents of St. Louis City and County consistently express a desire for a better transit system. This tax increase could be an opportunity to provide better service, but MoDOT’s priorities do not invest nearly enough in local transit. This is not keeping with the expressed wishes of St. Louis area residents in MoDOT’s own surveys. Should the tax increase pass, it will likely represent the only opportunity in the next decade to secure substantial additional funding for transit in the St. Louis area. The project lists below are initial and subject change, but must be completed before the November election. Email MoDOT’s chief district engineer Greg Horn with your feedback, 

What will our region’s future look like? Billions more in highway spending in the next decade, or a meaningful improvement in our transit network?

MoDOT initial high priority list

MoDOT initial medium priority list

MoDOT initial low priority list

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April 30th Clayton / Skinker Intersection Project Open House

Join us April 30th to get a look at almost completed designs for the improvements coming to the complicated intersection at Skinker, Clayton, Oakland, & I-64. A variety of improvements to traffic signals, pedestrian access, sidewalks, and bike infrastructure will be under construction in 2015. The $2 million project will improve safety and accessibility across Skinker and Oakland and into the southwest corner of Forest Park. Informal open house is at St. Mark’s Luthern Church, 6337 Clayton Rd., from 6 to 7pm on Wednesday April 30th. Hope to see you there.

 

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Zoo Expansion Interim Landscaping Plan

Yesterday representatives from the St. Louis Zoo and SWT Landscape Architecture gave the Clayton Tamm Neighborhood Assn. an update on the ongoing demolition of the hospital and upcoming landscaping plans. The hospital demolition should conclude later in May and sitework and grading should wrap up by the end of June. The Zoo plans some substantial landscaping on-site including two insect pollinator gardens that provide food for bees and butterfly larvae. The landscaping plan will be an interim land use while the Zoo moves from their existing Framework Plan into their Strategic Plan. The updated Strategic Plan will guide how the Zoo develops the site and provide more information on the timeline and financing for future phases. In the meantime, the chainlink fence will be removed and employee parking will continue on the existing lots. The parking garage should be able to re-open during July and may see use by Zoo visitors later in the year. The interim site plan for 2014 is below.


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