Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feds give $1.57 million to develop new use for Fenton Chrysler plant

Standing in the vast, empty space that used to be bustling with Chrysler assembly activity, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley introduced President Barack Obama's "car czar" Thursday as someone whose job it is to "cut through red tape and ensure that the full resources of our federal government are leveraged to assist the workers, communities and regions."

Then Dooley sliced a swath of his own through the bureaucratic jargon and said of Ed Montgomery: "That means give us money."

Montgomery came through, announcing a federal grant of $1.575 million to help find a new use for the Fenton facility that has been closed since the fall of 2008. Additional money from the state of Missouri, St. Louis County and the city of Fenton will increase the fund to $2.1 million. The money will fund efforts to figure out the best way to use the 5 million square feet that sits vacant near Interstates 44 and 270.

Although most of the money is coming from Washington, Montgomery said, the plan for reuse will be determined by those who are closest to the problem.


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