Maryland Heights leadership proposes way to combat run-off flooding

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Frustrated by serious flooding from run-off water, Maryland Heights city leadership says it has a plan to correct the issue and a plan to help pay for it.

This summer, major flooding in the area just off the Maryland Heights Expressway shut the highway down, closed businesses, and became a major headache for the city. But now they say they have a plan to stop it.

“We need to put in a pump system, which is long overdue. Everybody is aware of that so it doesn't flood our current property owners, the airport, MSD, and others already out there,” Jim Carver, Maryland Heights economic development manager.

Carver says the pump station would between $11 million and $12 million.

The city plans to pay for the storm pumps, levees, additional roads, and wetlands by creating a TIF district partnering with the levee district and St. Louis County. The total price tag to protect the 2,000 acres would be well over $100 million over 23 years.

“It’s called the Airport Sub-District. Everything from the River Valley north to Casino Drive south,” Carver said.

Carver says while they want to protect the land and Creve Coeur Lake, which—right now—is the only reservoir. They would also like to develop protected dry land for the thousands of people visiting Maryland Heights sports complexes every weekend.

“You got to give them something else to do somewhere to go eat,” Carver said. “Other thing is to create an experience that doesn't exist today.”

Carver insists additional infrastructure does not mean big box stores but rather something to compliment sports fields, the new hockey arena, and Creve Coeur Lake. He says only the six businesses in the area would be affected and the current tax district, with schools and fire, would not.

“We're making long-term assumptions over a 23-year period of TIF to add new development to contribute to the TIF,” Carver said.

The Great Rivers Habitat Alliance has come out against this plan and will urge the county TIF commission to vote it down. The public meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.

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