St. Louis County citizens upset over plans to replace two libraries

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI)-- Citizens call on the You Paid For It team to take a hard look at decisions by the St. Louis County Library Board  to tear down the Lewis and Clark Library and Tesson Ferry Branch then build new ones.

Investigator Elliott Davis caught up with the head of the Library Board of Trustees Lynn Beckwith with questions.

Citizens complain that that library trustees were all ears when they asked voters to approve a ballot measure to raise money, but then after the measure was passed the library was in no mood to listen to citizens.

We caught up to citizens groups in North County and in South County who have collected hundreds of petitions opposing the library plans.

But Trustee Board President Lynn Beckwith says despite the criticism, he wouldn't do anything differently. But he admitted that the library board hadn't done a cost analysis of what it would cost to renovate the buildings the citizens groups are trying to save.

Reaching the St Louis County Library Board of Trustees:


  • rachael

    St Louis County Library ROCKS. They do an awesome job of providing for our community and to complain about two NEW libraries is just so….entitled. St. Louis, please get over yourself. There are many parts of the country that don’t have ONE library. I think SLCL is awesome and i fully support both new locations. Keep up the good work, SLCL!

  • Richard

    Isn’t Ed Ryan the guy who got all new firehouses in South County? Why didn’t he see about renovating THOSE first? Tesson is an overheated junkbox as old and outdated as those previous firehouses. Like you even need a study determining that. Try visiting there in the summer sometime. My kids come out of there extra crispy around the edges. Freaking nasty. There’s nothing in there matching what people expect from a modern day library, and I’m sick of South Countians getting screwed over when it comes to paying into something and getting nothing new in return. Someone shut the Ed Ryans of the world up, before they shift that money to another part of the county…again.

  • Susan

    I live in Green Park. I know the leaders are trying to do the right thing, but they’re looking a little desperate attempting to stop this. We’re looking too small town.

    • Robert

      Amen! We live off of Mueller near Green Park, and will have a straight shot down Green Park/Musick to the new library. The mayor’s a nice guy, but I fear this is going to make us look like a bad place for business if the powers that be trash you on the way out the door. Put something people will enjoy at the old location…and move forward.

  • Stacey Willis

    The library system is great! However, what did you expect from the same man (Beckwith) that is destroying the Riverview Gardens School District. He likes to spend money without cause ALL OF THE TIME. He has his hands in too many pots! St Louis County Library should take a hard look at what he is doing at Riverview Gardens and replace him!

  • Frank

    The debacle that Davis refers to is that the Fenton politicians voted down a new spot for the Meramec Valley location. They very much wanted them to take the vacant Sandford Brown location of their hands. That would then require demolition…and Elliot Davis would still be ambushing the library with questions for spending too much money on that. Maybe he should’ve saved everyone time and simply asked colleague Betsy Bruce who covered the Prop L issue and what it would do back in 2012.

    As for Tesson Ferry…they expanded in the past, and there doesn’t look like there’s much more room for that on that parcel. They’d have to close down during a major renovation. Remember: the library’s supposed to be a quiet place, right?

    South County will never see their taxes give returns: No Metrolink…and soon if these guys win, no new library.

    I agree with the dad about how hot Tesson can be. And their portable AC units are LOUD!

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