Prop 1 Asks Voters to Consider a $50 Million No-Tax-Increase Bond Issue for Capital Improvements

Voters will decide whether to approve a bond issue that would replace old vehicles, repair & renovate aging facilities & upgrade outdated technology.

July 18, 2018 | 4 min reading time

This article is 4 years old. It was published on July 18, 2018.

The City issues General Obligation Bonds to finance capital projects throughout
the City of St. Louis, including infrastructure improvements and the purchase of equipment.

On the August 7, 2018 ballot, City of St. Louis voters will decide whether to approve a $50 million bond issue that would help the City replace old vehicles, repair or renovate aging facilities and upgrade outdated technology — with NO tax increase for residents and businesses. 

The funds from Prop 1 would allow the City to:

Replace Fire Department Vehicles

  • Replace 12 St. Louis Fire Department trucks
  • Replace 5 EMS ambulances
  • Replace aging support vehicles and auxiliary special operations equipment 

Why It’s Needed: 

Instead of having to replace the entire STLFD vehicle fleet every 15-20 years, this proposal continues the plan to purchase fire trucks and ambulances in stages, creating an ongoing, fiscally responsible fleet purchasing schedule.

Replace Police Department Equipment and Move Facilities

  • Replace radio system for St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
  • Construct and equip Property Custody Facility and SWAT headquarters 

Why It’s Needed: 

The radio system currently used by SLMPD is beyond its useful life, with many radios broken and beyond repair. New radios are needed so that of officers can properly communicate with all regional law enforcement and first responder agencies. The SLMPD Property Custody Facility is currently located in the old police headquarters on Clark and is no longer sufficient for proper long-term storage of evidence. These funds would allow the property custody facility to be relocated to an existing building in south St. Louis. That space will be fully renovated to accommodate Property Custody and SWAT headquarters. 


Update Corrections Buildings 

  • Install permanent air conditioning in the Medium Security Institution
  • Showers, toilets and plumbing repair
  • Sprinkler system & sprinkler heads
  • Boiler replacement
  • Video security equipment upgrade 

Why It’s Needed: 

This proposal would create a permanent air conditioning system for for the dorm, pods, gym, chapel and kitchen at the Medium Security Institution in order to maintain a safe environment. The proposal would also replace failing equipment and infrastructure that are beyond their useful life. 


Replace the City’s Accounting & Payroll Systems 

  • New payroll system for City of St. Louis
  • New comprehensive finance system 

Why It’s Needed: 

The City has been using the current payroll database since the 1980’s. The City also has separate systems for budgeting, procurement, accounts payable, general ledger, and asset management. Parts of these systems still use paper-based processes requiring manual data entry. Our current systems can no longer keep up with the data demands of residents, businesses and employees. New integrated payroll and finance systems will increase efficiency and allow City departments to better track revenues and expenses. 


Update Courts & Juvenile Detention Buildings  

  • Roof replacement & repair
  • Accessibility, security & mechanical upgrades 

Why It’s Needed: 

Large-scale repair or replacement is needed for multiple roofs, some of which are at least 25 years old and beyond their useful life. Security systems, including cameras and screening equipment are also at least 10-15 years old. 


Update Municipal Buildings   

  • Renovating public restrooms in City Hall
  • Replace City Hall electrical switchgear & panel boards
  • HVAC/Chiller repairs
  • Plumbing, roofing and miscellaneous repairs 

Why It’s Needed: 

The current electrical switchgear and panel boards are original to City Hall and well beyond their useful life for safety and performance. Public restrooms renovations and upgrades in City Hall are also needed to meet current standards for public facilities. This item also includes needed repairs to other City-owned buildings. 


Maintain City Bridges    

  • Maintenance, repairs, rehabilitation, modification or reconstruction as needed for the City’s 73 bridges 

Why It’s Needed: 

This item is needed to ensure safety and compliance with all regulations pertaining to bridge structures. All bridges owned by the City of St. Louis are inspected bi-annually as required by MODOT and FHWA and a report of any deficiencies or issues are noted for repairs/replacement. These funds can also be utilized as the local match share funds on Federally Funded Grant projects. 


Evaluate ADA Compliance of City Infrastructure     

  • Evaluation of all City-owned infrastructure and its compliance with the American Disabilities Act. 

Why It’s Needed: 

Federal law mandates that cities have a Transition Plan for bringing City-owned facilities and amenities into compliance with the American Disabilities Act. This item would provide necessary funds for engineers and architects to assess the current state of infrastructure compliance, including sidewalks, buildings and intersections. 


Replace Fire Station Roofs & Buy Backup Generators      

  • Replacement of fire station roofs
  • Purchase and installation of natural/LP gas backup generators and transfer equipment 

Why It’s Needed: 

A number of fire station roofs are beyond their useful life and in many cases have failed, are leaking and are not repairable due to age. This item also includes the purchase and installation of natural/LP gas backup generators and transfer equipment for critical re stations throughout the City in order to support first responders during a power outage or natural disaster. 



“Will this raise my taxes?” 

No. The City would raise funds for these projects by issuing bonds. These bonds would be issued at the same time that some olds bonds have been “retired” or completely paid off. Payments that were going to pay off the old bonds will now be going to pay off the new bonds. 

“How will this impact the City’s credit rating?” 

Because the City will have the same annual obligations, it is expected that this will have a neutral effect on the City’s credit rating.

“When was the last bond issue?” 

A similar bond issue was passed by voters in April 2016. That bond issue raised $25 million that was properly spent on the capital improvements within the parameters of that bond issue. 

“What happens to these items if Prop 1 fails? 

If the voters don’t approve Prop 1, many of these needed investments will be postponed until another bond issue can be put on the ballot a 


  • Department:
    Office of the Mayor
  • Topic:

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