Committee hears from public on proposed park sale
By Kevin Lavery, KWMU
St. Louis, MO. – Two members of a four-person St. Louis aldermanic committee met Monday with opponents of a plan to lease part of Forest Park to Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
BJC wants to lease about 12 acres near its main campus to add research space and bed capacity.
But the grassroots group Citizens to Protect Forest Park fears that could set a precedent for future acquisitions of the park.
Twenty-eighth ward alderman Lyda Krewson says the committee wants to balance the interests of both parties.
"I will tell you it gives me great angst to consider this, but I do think that when you look at BJC's needs and the park's needs, it's worthy of being very thoughtful and deliberative about it," Krewson said.
If the lease is approved, the city of St. Louis would reap nearly $2 million in annual revenue.
Opponents say such measures as a regional park tax and contributions from park institutions could provide an alternative funding stream.