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Old Town group advocates for MSP

The significant economic impact and the threat to a unique historic resource is apparent in the recent developments leading to the close of the Missouri State Penitentiary tours.

As guardians of the city’s oldest and most historic areas, the Old Town Revitalization Company lent its voice to the urgent attention needed there.

Chairman Phil Freeman will send letters to local elected officials in support of mold remediation and weather-proofing the buildings set apart as the site’s historic district.

“They’re an asset becoming a liability,” Freeman said at a company meeting Wednesday.

Secretary Carol Burkhead suggested the overall economic impact of the closed tours was near $1 million, including lodging nights, local wages and ticket refunds.

In other business, the company discussed possible changes to the city ordinance funding options for Old Town area owner-occupied incentives.

Board members agreed to stay alert for commercial incentives and possibilities.

“I feel we’re good on the residential side; we need to focus our energies on other opportunities to invest in Old Town,” said Freeman.

The company also acknowledged progress on projects specifically benefiting the Old Town area, which were designated in the current half-cent sales tax for roads and bridges, such as the curb and gutter additions to the 300 block of Ash Street.

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