Over the past few months, a committee has been hard at work to design an effective strategy to promote public safety in the Forest Park Southeast (FPSE) neighborhood.
Explaining the Special Business District (SBD)
The SBD is a local government entity that provides services when voters and property owners in an area vote for a property tax. This SBD then uses those funds for improved local services. A SBD is created when property owners sign a petition to create a SBD. An ordinance supporting the petition must be submitted at the Board of Aldermen. Next, a public hearing must take place at the Board of Aldermen where the ordinance must be approved. Finally, an election is then held within the boundaries of the SBD. The election for the FPSE SBD will be held in the Spring of 2013.
Missouri state law requires a seven member board, who must each be appointed by the Mayor, made up of five property owners and two renters.
Benefits of the FPSE SBD
The funds raised through the SBD will help support neighborhood security initiatives by adding additonal patrols and supporting crime analysis and awareness. The funds will also assist in infrastructure and beautification initiatives including additional lighting, cleanup, and street scape maintenance. The Neighborhood Ownership Model, which has already made such a huge impact in the community, will also benefit from the SBD. Brian Phillips, Executive Director at WUMCRC and also FPSE SBD committee member has high aspirations for the proposal.
“We would like to see FPSE be the safest neighborhood in St. Louis. We want to protect the investment of property owners and homeowners. We hope to add value to their investments in our neighborhood and we believe that the FPSE SBD is one of the many key components to building a great neighborhood.”
The proposal for the FPSE SBD was created by a committee of neighborhood residents and Washington University. The proposal consists of three elements: location, what services are included, and who will be paying the new tax.
The boundaries include most of the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood: I-64/40 on the north, Vandeventer Avenue/Sarah Street/the railroad tracks on the east/south and Kingshighway on the west as shown in the map above.
Services that will receive assistance through the FPSE SBD include security and police efforts, the Neighborhood Ownership Model’s activities, and litter control and beautification initiatives in FPSE. Overall, this proposal will benefit everyone in the neighborhood. Brian Phillips explains why this proposal is so important.
“Most importantly, the FPSE SBD provides a continuous source of funding to address public safety matters and funding for safety and security initiatives for the next 10 years.”
The new tax will be paid by property owners within the SBD boundaries. Those who rent or lease will not be required to pay these taxes directly. The proposed rate is $0.85 per $100 of real estate valuation. The actual tax amount is based upon the assessed value of the property. The assessed value can be found on the City’s website. If you have any questions regarding the total amount you will be paying or if you’d like more information, you may contact Dan Krasnoff, Executive Director, Park Central Development at 314-535-5311 or visit the FPSE Public Safety website.