“Clearly, the anticipation was the precinct would have been finished in mid-2021 and that’s what my expectation is,” St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas said
AFFTON, Mo. — In 2017, St. Louis County earmarked revenue from the Proposition Public Safety sales tax, passed by voters, for construction of two new police precincts.
One in north St. Louis County and the other in south county. The south county precinct would span several acres near Gravois and Sappington Road in South County which is in Councilman Ernie Trakas’ sixth district.
“The designs, the drawings and construction plans had been completed and paid for back in 2019. Clearly, the anticipation was the precinct would have been finished by mid-2021,” Councilman Trakas said.
But Councilman Trakas said Tuesday, when St. Louis County Budget Director Paul Kreidler presented County Executive Dr. Sam Paige’s proposed 2021 budget during a hearing, Kreidler dopped an expected bombshell.
“He waffed a bit, wasn’t sure, thought that the project might be delayed,” Trakas said.
The sixth district Councilman said the budget director told council members the multi-million dollar Affton Southwest Precinct Station now might have to be put on hold due to a budget battle.
“Why are we now hearing about the postponement of this?” Trakas asked. “According to Kreidler, because there’s some issue as to whether or not the funds are there. Frankly, I’m very skeptical.”
“He basically said yes there is a problem. We do not have the money to do it,” said Third District St. Louis County Councilman Tim Fitch.
5 On Your Side reached out to St. Louis County Budget Director Paul Kreidler, but as of Thursday evening, we did not hear from him.
Meanwhile, the Spokesman for St. Louis County Executive, Dr. Sam Paige sent us a statement.
“We understand why Councilman Trakas is upset. This delay is frustrating. We understand he intends to correct this when the budget is before the council,” said Doug Moore in the statement.
“I intend to do everything I can to make sure that that precinct is completed in 2021,” Trakas said.
Councilman Trakas said on Friday he will ask county leaders to hold a special hearing to address the Affton precinct station project.
The precinct is currently working out of a temporary station near Butler Hill and Tesson Ferry Road.
That lease will expire next May.