Almost three months after city council members rebuffed a request by the Olive-Graeser Transportation Development District (TDD) for money to help pay off outstanding legal and administrative costs, members of the board have formally approved measures which together will cut down on costs.
In a meeting held Tuesday afternoon at the Creve Coeur Government Center, members approved the changes, which include extending out the payment period to the Board's legal counsel, naming Creve Coeur Finance Director Dan Smith as the TDD's treasurer, and reducing insurance costs for board members.
The board's main responsibility, overseeing a reconstructed intersection at Olive Boulevard and Graeser Rd. with a traffic signal at the site of the new Walgreens which opened in the spring of 2011, has already been completed. The board still exists to take in sales tax revenue generated by commercial properties in the district.
The TDD board asked city leaders for help over the summer because it was struggling to work with a $15,000 cap on administrative costs. At the time, there was a suggestion that board members could quit if they were unable to retain insurance coverage. City staff and council members rejected the request for $30,000 to cover expenses, saying it would cut into payments on the project the city itself receives. City leaders also said those firms with the outstanding payments from the board were aware of the circumstances surrounding the cap and the possibility of delays.
While the district moved to reduce insurance protections to $1 million, down from $3 million, some of the other changes are more subtle. Smith, for instance, will be authorized to make certain payments that previously would have required a board meeting for approval. In addition, members will also be encouraged to go through the board's Executive Director, Steve Heitz, about issues that previously would have gone first to the district's legal counsel.
Both those changes will reduce the TDD's legal expenses.
Some of the cost-cutting will be more subtle, as in members communicating with the TDD's Executive Director, Steve Heitz about possible issues before consulting with legal counsel.