You Paid For It – Tax dollars spent to install fancy lights along abandoned, wrecked street

ST. LOUIS - Taxpayers are spending millions of dollars to spruce up a troubled Martin Luther King Drive in north St Louis with decorative lights.

The decorative lights are installed right next to regular street lights. It's a street with block after block of abandoned buildings despite the fancy lights.

Alderman Jeffrey Boyd is the man behind spending so much of your money on the lights.

The last batch of lights, installed about five years ago, cost taxpayers $1.2 million. But many of the buildings with lights out front are still wrecks, some in incredibly bad shape.

Alderman Boyd now wants to spend more money to put in more decorative lights. He wants to shell out another $1.8 million for lights on the section of MLK that doesn't have fancy lights yet. He believes the lights will ultimately spur development.

The alderman says some blocks along MLK Drive where there has been some progress--but he cannot show that progress--was due to the lights.

Some of the merchants along MLK say they weren't convinced this was the best deal for tax dollars. They would have rather seen the money spent for more urgent needs for this street.

Many complain about the crime and prostitution, deterioration, and other issues plaguing MLK. They say the lights have done little to solve those serious problems. Alderman Boyd says he's still sold on the lights. He's convinced they'll lead to a turnaround on the street.