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University City OKs Funds For New Fire House

Council also hires new city attorney

November 16, 2011
Following multiple delays and much debate, the University City Council has passed a resolution approving additional funding for a proposed new fire house.

On Nov. 4, the council approved $674,494 for a facility at Vernon and Westgate. The resolution was discussed at previous meetings, but the vote was delayed as the council and residents discussed issues such as need, location, cost, the potential impact on the surrounding neighborhood and the ability to provide service to different parts of the city.

The discussion continued even moments before the vote took place, as several residents spoke both for and against the resolution.

While the 6-1 vote was not unanimous, several council members were optimistic that the extensive debate set a good precedent for a future that they anticipate will include monitoring the progress of the fire house.

"What we have heard is incredible," said Councilman Michael Glickert, who cast the one vote against the resolution. "The eloquence of the people has made all of us think. Both sides said 'we want a fire house.'"

"We have many difficult decisions ahead of us," said Councilman Steven Kraft. "I hope this creates a tradition of respectful and civil discourse."

Councilman Terry Crow asked City Manager Lehman Walker to keep the council informed of potential cost overruns.

New City Attorney

University City has hired Paul Martin to serve as city attorney, replacing current City Attorney John Mulligan Jr. City Manager Lehman Walker said Martin was one of six lawyers/firms to apply for the position and that all six were interviewed.

Martin currently serves as city attorney for several other municipalities, including Olivette, Ellisville, Rock Hill and Crystal Lake Park.

Walker was asked if there would be any conflicts since Martin now works for both University City and Olivette. The two cities are discussing working together to redevelop Olive Boulevard near the Innerbelt. Walker said special counsel could be hired if necessary to avoid conflicts.

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