You Paid For It: MSD And London

You Paid For It
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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – After taking flak for plans to send millions of St. Louis area tax dollars to a London based firm;  the MSD board ''votes down’’ a proposal from its staff that would have blocked such deals and others like it.

Investigator Elliott Davis with why some question MSD's decision to keep sending your local tax dollars overseas.

That's tonight's You Paid For It.

I went to grill MSD spokesman Lance LaComb on this deal that may leave foreign firms smiling and St. Louis area companies disappointed.

After a furor over MSD's decision to give a $40 million dollar contract to improve its system to a London based firm with a branch office in St. Louis.

The MSD board asked its staff to prepare a proposal to ban foreign companies from MSD work in favor of local companies.  The staff presented its proposal to the board to do just that.

But the board voted it down.

I kept trying to pin down LaComb on the board’s decision to turn down the proposal drawn up by its own staff.

My question, didn't staff think it was a good idea to bar foreign firms?

"So staff   obviously thought it was reasonable isn't that correct?"

"That was a resolution that the board considered!"

"What I’m saying is that...!

"Elliott, Elliott, Elliott, Elliott, Elliott we had this discussion we had this discussion we had this discussion we had this discussion. We had this discussion.”

Your resolution was reasonable is that correct

It was what we were asked to present

So now foriegn firms will keep getting your money, despite the huge rate hike area taxpayers approved to help MSD pay for all the new work it has to do under an agreement with the federal government.

That makes no sense to MSD watchdog Tom Sullivan.

When MSD was floating its bond issue what they were saying was this was going to lead to economic development for the St. Louis area going to create 17,000 jobs. Now they want to have $40-$50 million dollar contract with an engineering firm based in London.
"In as much as taxpayers have given MSD such a break, shouldn't a preference be given for the local firms isn't that reasonable?"

"Well what our board heard overall was there's no reason to discriminate against other firms just based on where they're coming from.

"All the people who are out of work and firms that need business in this area it would make a great deal more sense to give them the business!

"Keep in mind we're always on the lookout for government waste

Meanwhile if you spot questionable government spending, make sure you call our hotline 800-846-ktvi.

Go to our website or send me a message on Facebook and I’ll investigate.
After all you paid for it.

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Do you have a news tip for Elliott Davis? His "You Paid For It Series" on government waste has made him a champion of the underdog in St. Louis. Email our investigative unit here.


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