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Prenzler Chosen as Gateway Vice-Chair

by Randy Pierce

MADISON COUNTY — Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler has been selected to serve as vice-chair of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, a regional agency covering the City of St. Louis, four St. Louis area counties in Missouri and three in Illinois.

Prenzler’s selection for this position puts him in line to be chairman of the EWGCG board in 2025, succeeding the elected official currently holding that seat, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones. That chair position rotates annually.

The other board of directors’ members for the council include those representing the counties of Monroe and St. Clair in Illinois and St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin and Jefferson in Missouri. Prenzler’s counterpart to the immediate south, Mark Kern, St. Clair County board chairman, is part of the EWGCG board.

There are 24 voting members on the East-West board and five non-voting members. Ron Williams of Glen Carbon, who made an unsuccessful run for state’s attorney in Madison County in 2016, having been defeated by Tom Gibbons, and Edwardsville Township Clerk David Schwind are also voting members on the EWGCG Board of Directors. Both were appointed by Prenzler to represent Madison County.

Prenzler commented, “It’s hard to overestimate the importance of East-West Gateway” for reasons including the fact that federal highway funding flows through it as an administrative agency for transportation improvement programs in the region.

At the first meeting of the EWGCG Board of Directors in 2024, its members approved a plan to address the reduction of violence in the region with Prenzler stating he feels crime in St. Louis is “the elephant in the room” and needs to be considered for improving the image of the entire area.

Prenzler additionally said one of the other items discussed at that meeting was the appointment of Gabe Gore by Missouri Governor Michael Parson to replace Kim Gardner who had resigned with the Madison County Board chairman being one of those who had called for the latter to occur.

Recognized as a coordinating agency for the transportation network in the counties it covers, the EWGCG is part of the process of projecting road and highway expansions, widenings, upgrades and extensions plus other related projects which impact motorists and those using applicable public services, such as buses and light rail, in the region.

Based in downtown St. Louis, the EWGCG was created in conjunction with the Federal Highway Act passed by the United States Congress in 1962.

East-West Gateway Council of Governments was formally incorporated in 1965 to provide a forum for cooperative problem-solving and the coordinated development of regional policy. It was previously called the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council.

Originally charged with coordinating transportation funding for St. Louis regional projects, EWGCG’s purview has expanded through the years to bring together governmental officials, planning professionals, citizens and private sector partners to develop regional and local plans for not only transportation but also environmental quality, housing, emergency preparedness and access to employment.

East-West Gateway Council of Governments administers four competitive programs that provide federal funding to local sponsors for various transportation projects such as roadway/bridge improvements, public transit service, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and mobility for seniors and persons with disabilities.

Kurt Prenzler

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