Low-profile St. Louis County agency plays big economic role

Amid the alphabet soup of economic development agencies throughout the St. Louis region, the St. Louis County Port Authority stands out as among the more powerful.

Unlike many similar agencies, its actions don’t ultimately go back to a legislative body — in this case, the St. Louis County Council — for final approval. It doles out millions of dollars a year in grants and contracts, one of which was awarded without other bids, possibly in violation of state statute.

And despite its name, it rarely deals with barge docks or loading platforms.

While the St. Louis and Kansas City port authorities focus on developing infrastructure for navigating the waterways or developing the riverfront, the St. Louis County Port Authority acts as both a driver and a behind-the-scenes player on projects anywhere in St. Louis County — not just the banks of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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