VINITA PARK, MO. - Jack Tevlin has lived in Vinita Terrace for 32 years. On Wednesday, he suddenly became a resident of Vinita Park when the two municipalities officially merged.
Voters approved the measure in November. Tevlin said he hopes it improves city services.
“The writing on the wall was that the Terrace was not going to be able to provide the level of service it was accustomed to,” Tevlin said.
Vinita Park Mayor James McGee said the new residents can expect to see better recycling, trash service, street cleaning and maintenance.
Public safety services, including police and fire, will stay the same.
“I think it saves money for tax payers and the cities. Now, Vinita Terrace, we won't need a city clerk, we won't need court clerk. We won't need any of those employees and that's saving the city money.”
McGee said the jobs lost were all part-time positions. The merger could signal the beginning of a trend in North St. Louis County.
“There's been a lot of talk in the region that there's too many municipalities and they're inefficient, ineffective. The reality is these folks need to come together on their own and say, look, what's in our own best interest moving forward,” said Chris Krehmeyer, the president and CEO of Beyond Housing, a community development organization.
Krehmeyer said there could be more mergers to come in north St. Louis County, including one between Normandy and Glen Echo.
“It doesn't matter how big you are or how many municipalities there are. But, do you provide good governance for the people who pay taxes and live in your communities?” Krehmeyer said
The mayor of Florissant, Thomas Schneider, told 5 On Your Side he has invited nearby Calverton Park to join Florissant.
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