JEFFERSON CITY — Budget drafters sent a $2.9 billion spending plan to the Missouri Senate on Monday, adding $6 million to demolish the idle Jamestown Mall and another $23 million for a new enforcement center of law in the county of St. Louis.
The massive list of projects is the Missouri Legislature’s response to how the state will spend billions of dollars in federal pandemic aid ahead of the new fiscal year on July 1.
The American Rescue Plan Act money budget includes projects favorites of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as a slew of new programs sought after by Republican Gov. Mike Parson.
The Senate inserted $15 million to remove condemned buildings in St. Louis, $2 million for a sports complex in Chesterfield and $2.5 million to upgrade the Amtrak station in Kirkwood.
It also cuts funding to begin building the Rock Island Pedestrian and Bike Trail that won applause from park supporters, Parson and tourism officials.
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“I think every senator has something in there that they’ll like,” the senator said. Dan HegemanR-Cosby, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The $6 million set aside to demolish the vacant and run-down mall in northern St. Louis County, combined with an additional $6 million approved by the St. Louis County Council last month, could transform the site into a “shovel-ready” site for redevelopment.
The $23 million for St. Louis County Police includes funds for a regional intelligence operations center, a new asset control facility and a training complex that includes a firing range.
“Obviously the news today is good and we hope the money will be finalized for the projects,” said Doug Moore, spokesman for County Executive Sam Page.
The latest draft now awaits action in the full Senate. Pending its approval, it should then be merged with the House version, which means that its final content could change.
The unanimous vote in the Appropriations Committee came after Hegeman urged lawmakers to act quickly because the deadline to deliver the budget to Parson is Friday.
“We’re running out of time,” Hegeman said.
The loss of funds for the bike path was a disappointment for Rock Island Trail Inc. President Mac McNally. But, he said, the group supporting the conversion of an old railway line is not giving up.
“We believe this is a premier project that needs to be funded,” McNally said.
Parson’s version had sought to spend a total of $3.1 million in APRA funds. The House has budgeted $2.5 million.
Although much of the Senate and House version is the same, the Senate is cutting spending on a number of high-profile projects.
The measure does not include money to expand ports in the state, including $25 million requested by Jefferson County to build a container shipping facility on the Mississippi River.
The Senate also withdrew funding for the construction of a new $88 million training academy for the Missouri State Highway Patrol from the plan and said ‘no’ to a plan to provide grants to hard-hit entertainment venues. by coronavirus-related closures in the past. two years.
The Senate panel also rejected a $9.5 million plan to install Wi-Fi in Missouri state parks.
At the same time, the Senate increased spending by local tourism agencies to $50 million from the $10 million approved by the House. This money could be used to boost local event marketing.
Among the largest expenditures is $419 million for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to oversee the replacement of lead water pipes.
Lawmakers also plan to spend $250 million to expand high-speed internet access across the state.
The proposal includes $149 million to help local mental health agencies serve more patients. This would require matching funds from potential beneficiaries.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol would receive $104 million to build a new crime lab in Jefferson City.
Another $78.6 million would go towards building a health lab that would be used by multiple agencies, including the Department of Health and Senior Services.
The University of Missouri-St. The Louis campus is online for a makeover. The budget sets aside $40 million in matching funds for a so-called “Campus of the Future” involving several new buildings and the demolition of old facilities.
St. Louis Community College would receive $20 million to build a health sciences center on the Florissant Valley campus.
St. Charles Community College could get $18 million to build facilities focused on skills training.
The legislation includes $33.6 million for work at the Missouri State Fairgrounds, including a new indoor arena and the acquisition of adjoining land for improved camping facilities.
Cities and counties could also tap into a $250 million community development fund for local projects. The program requires a municipality to match the amount it would get from the state. The House had asked for $50 million.
Small businesses and nonprofit groups would be in line for matching grants worth a total of $25 million and $20 million, respectively. That’s more than double what the House approved