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Forest Park lease gets final approval

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave its final approval to the Forest Park lease deal this morning.

The plan leases about nine acres of parkland east of Kingshighway to Barnes-Jewish Hospital for two million dollars a year.

Citizens to Protect Forest Park fought the plan for nearly a year, gathering 28,000 signatures for a ballot measure. On April 3 voters will decide whether citizens' approval should be required to sell or lease parkland.

Although the Forest Park lease went through, one organizer, Carla Scissors-Cohen, says Proposition P remains important.

"We think that it's firing people up and we know people are very interested in protecting their parkland, and more importantly, we know citizens are interested in having a say in what happens to their parkland," Scissors-Cohen said.

City officials have voiced concerns that simple park transactions will become more complicated if the proposition passes.

But Cohen says it would only affect the sale or long-term lease of parkland.