ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County Council President Ernie Trakas confirmed to 5 On Your Side Monday that he does not plan to introduce legislation that would bail out the Loop Trolley Company.
Over the weekend, Councilman Tim Fitch published a letter revealing the Loop Trolley Company requested $700,000 from St. Louis County just to keep its lights on through 2020.
$200,000 would go towards operating costs in 2019, $500,000 would fund operations through 2020.
The funding request from the Loop Trolley Company was made in September.
Trakas said he will officially “receive and file” the request. That’s a legislative move that allows the request to be technically off the council’s agenda but would remain available to be put back onto the agenda for 90 days. After 90 days, the request would expire.
Council President Trakas said he made the decision because there are far too many other monetary requests facing the council right now – including raises for county employees and road projects that deserve their attention.
“Let’s talk about the needs of the county before we start talking about wants,” Trakas told 5 On Your Side.
Another council member could revive the bill. So far, Trakas, Tim Fitch and Mark Harder have all said they would oppose the measure.
This comes after Sunday, when 5 On Your Side confirmed with two sources close to the matter, that the money requested by the Loop Trolley Company may not still guarantee the trolley could remain open.
A spokeswoman for the Loop Trolley Company provided the following statement:
“The Loop Trolley Company is still working with St. Louis County to secure funding.”
Longtime Loop Trolley supporter and The Loop developer Joe Edwards is still optimistic they’ll get the funding to keep the Loop Trolley open.
“You don’t walk away from a 50 million dollar project and just walk away,” said Edwards.
Edwards argues, all they need is a third trolley train, which would allow them to open up service seven days a week.
“You need that third one so you can rotate maintenance and give dependable service,” said Edwards.
The third trolley train was actually delivered to company headquarters back in January. So why haven’t you seen it cruising down Delmar? It’s because those train’s wheels will not work on the tracks.
According to new confidential documents, provided by request from the Loop Trolley Company, show that the company’s president wrote to community leaders back in October, explaining that the trolley’s wheels are not compatible with the system’s switches.
The earliest the trolley could be retro-fitted would be January 2020.
Unlike a loop, this trolley is running out of tracks and fast. It may be a tough sell for even the trolley’s biggest fan.
“We root for our sports teams even when things look the most dire and we stick by them. All we’re asking for is one more… keep it going,” said Edwards.
The Loop Trolley Company is also in talks with the city of St. Louis to provide that $700,000. A representative for Mayor Lyda Krewson said, she is taking it into consideration but cannot further at this time.
If no one steps forward, the trolley will shut down Nov. 15th.