Richmond Heights officials Monday night approved steps to analyze if the city will consider proceeding with tax abatement for Boland Place apartments, at Dale Avenue and Boland Place.
About 10 were in the audience, including members of the Mid-County Chamber of Commerce, the Maplewood Richmond Heights School Board and city staff. None spoke in the meeting.
At the last meeting, the developer, Joseph Cyr, asked the city (in a closed session) to consider a payment in lieu of taxes, City Manager Amy Hamilton said in her report in the meeting. To analyze the request — for the city council to determine what action is appropriate — the city must hire consultants to do due diligence.
The agreement requires that the person making the request — the developer — put up money the city can use to pay professionals to review the request. The city is requesting $50,000 from the developer, Joseph Cyr, to pay for planing analysis, a tax impact statement and legal work.
Council member Reginald Finney asked if the MRH School Board was aware of the request, and what its opinion is. Hamilton said the board knows about the request, and will wait to see the results of the tax impact statement.
Hamilton also reported on the progress of the Joint Fire Command Staff cooperative study, which would restructure the command of the Brentwood, Clayton, Maplewood, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill fire departments.
She said the group, including the fire chiefs and city administrators/managers of each city, has met numerous times over the past five months, and has produced a draft organizational chart, and are working on a budget and cost-sharing for each city.
Hamilton requested three more months for the work. It began in October 2016. Council member Rick Vilcek countered with two months, saying he doesn’t want a rolling deadline. He said he doesn’t want the organizational work to detract from their everyday work of running the cities, and doesn’t want to keep the fire departments in limbo.
Hamilton said Richmond Heights is the only city in the group requiring a deadline. The council approved a May 15 deadline for the next report.