Plans to move Tesson Ferry Library should be immediately suspended

To the editor:

Regarding the Nov. 14 article headlined “Panel recommends rezoning for library site; road improvements mandated,” I believe St. Louis County taxpayers should be greatly alarmed by the events reported by Staff Reporter Gloria Lloyd.

As reported in recent issues of the Call, Green Park Mayor Bob Reinagel recently was told that the decision was already made about moving the Tesson Ferry Branch County Library and that his inquiry was too late.

And Library Communications Director Jennifer McBride stated: “The library considered over 25 locations for the new Tesson Ferry. The Musick/Gravois site was the most viable option, providing enough space for the library’s needs — without a costly demolition or environmental concerns.”

Now we learn that the Missouri Department of Transportation and the county Department of Highways and Traffic have told library officials they cannot build an entrance onto Musick Road until multiple improvements are made to the surrounding roads.

And library officials made the decision without even knowing how or who would pay for it.

Which raises the question: What was the decision to move the location of the library based on? Apparently it did not include the real cost of rebuilding the entire local highway — Musick and Gravois and access. What about all the other essential related infrastructure systems, for example, communications, stormwater, sewage, et al. This could add hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of dollars to such a plan.

If the county governing system permits a group of five or six people to obligate and implement — or try to — major construction and building plans unilaterally, we have a loose cannon on board. Where is some oversight or an inspector general to keep things real?

I recommend that the library moving plan should be immediately suspended and investigated by a competent authority. The Green Park mayor’s call to reconsider should get another hearing.