Comptroller Darlene Green (left), Mayor Lyda Krewson, and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed serve on the three-member Board of Estimate and Apportionment. (Post-Dispatch file photos)

ST. LOUIS — The city’s top fiscal body on Tuesday morning endorsed a bill that aims to close the city Medium Security Institution, commonly known as the workhouse, by Dec. 31.

The Board of Estimate and Apportionment voted 2-0 to OK the measure.

Abstaining was Comptroller Darlene Green. Green supports closing the facility but wanted the panel to require that PFM, a consulting firm that already advises the city on financial matters, be retained to assist city corrections officials in preparing a plan.

Green said she was worried without outside help, the corrections staff will be overburdened and could have difficulty meeting the Dec. 31 date cited in the bill.

She also contended that the bill doesn’t actually compel the closure by then. Green’s proposed amendment died for lack of a second.

Aldermanic President Lewis Reed and Mayor Lyda Krewson voted in favor of the bill.

Krewson said it’s possible that a consulting firm might be retained by her administration even without Green’s amendment. Krewson didn’t specify a particular company.

Reed also denied Green’s assertion that his bill doesn’t mandate the Dec. 31 closure.

The bill was tentatively endorsed by the Board of Aldermen last week.  Plans to bring it up for final aldermanic approval at a special meeting Tuesday were put aside when the aldermanic rules committee did not act on it.

Reed now hopes to have a final board vote on the bill at another special board meeting added for Friday.

Airport bill delayed

Meanwhile, Reed delayed final board action on his bill to put before voters at the Nov. 3 election a plan to lease St. Louis Lambert International Airport.  That also could come up at Friday’s meeting.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday


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