Second lawsuit filed challenging Loop Trolley project

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– A second lawsuit has been filed challenging the legitimacy of the pending Loop Trolley project.

One suit filed last week in federal court, alleges the 2007 vote to set up the special taxing district to support the trolley violated the constitution because it allowed property owners multiple votes based on the acreage they own. The suit also alleges the trolley route illegally extends slightly outside the boundaries of the transportation district.

The plaintiffs in the federal suit include Elsie Glickert, a former University City Council member, Jen Rivenes Jensen, Irene Franklin and Peter Sarandos.

Loop trolley chairman Joe Edwards says he doubts the lawsuits will delay the project and says the actions of the plaintiffs ‘perplexes’ him.

‘We have answered all these questions at public hearings through the years so I am kind of surprised,’ Edwards said.

‘I question the timing. Why not four years ago or five years ago, why now?’

Tom Sullivan, a spokesperson for the plaintiffs, says the reason for the timing is that they just became aware of some of the issues they are raising, and that their intent is not to kill the trolley project.

‘The intent is to see to it that the trolley goes on a route that has been approved,’ Sullivan said. ‘The purpose of the lawsuit is to raise objections to the manner in which the trolley district was created and the voting taken place.”

“If it turns out they have done it the wrong way they can always have another vote,’

As for the lawsuit filed in state court, Glickert, the sole plaintiff, alleges University City violated the state`s Sunshine Laws, by publishing an agenda that did not specify the details of a permit change up for a vote in March.

That permit change was to extend the trolley’s hours of operation.

University City Mayor Shelley Welsch declined comment because it is a pending legal latter.

Edwards says the trolley project is moving quickly, and that he expects to get final federal approval in two weeks, allowing construction companies to begin bidding on the project.

With luck, he says, construction could begin in February or March of next year.

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