St. Louis County Council Chairman Sam Page’s resolution that would halt the construction of the controversial Legacy Ice Center in Creve Coeur Lake Park narrowly passed during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Councilman Sam Page’s resolution would stop all construction work and grading was passed 4 to 3 during the council meeting. It will now be discussed at tomorrow’s Committee of the Whole meeting, along with Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger’s own resolution about the ice rink facility.
The proposal to build a new ice facility was unanimously approved in December but recently park regulars noticed that grading has already begun without proper approval.
St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said the entire process has been following guidelines and has been open and transparent.
“The chair of the county council, Dr. Sam Page sponsored the bill authorizing this facility and the legislation moved through the council in a normal process that was approved unanimously,” Stenger said. “From the very beginning, this process has been open and transparent with no less than four public hearings. We welcome those opportunities.”
Stenger added that after the initial approval, the Legacy Ice Foundation and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership moved forward in an appropriate manner and received all the proper permits for the grading work, including concurrence from the state department of natural resources.
“The council members who voted unanimously in favor of this Legacy Ice Center had many opportunities to review this proposal’s details and to discuss those details,” he said. “But some of them, including Chairman Page, would now claim to have been misled about the project or did not understand what they were voting on is preposterous. It moved through the council over three or four-week period.”
According to Stenger, the site for the ice facility would take up 40 acres within Creve Coeur Lake Park, which is less than 2 percent of the park’s area.
Stenger also mentioned if the site for the ice facility project does not move forward all the current grading work that has been done thus far in the location would be reversed back to the park’s original state.
Earlier this month the Open Space Council, led a protest group to a St. Louis County Council meeting and detailed that the new ice facilities in Creve Coeur Lake Park, which would include three indoor hockey rinks and an outside rink with a roof is not what residents want.
Kat Dockery, director of the Open Space Council for the St. Louis region, argued with Stenger’s assessment that there was adequate public forum regarding the issue.
“I just want to clarify a few things. There was one public meeting regarding this. At this public meeting, there was a presentation by Patrick Quinn [founder of the Legacy Ice Foundation[ and he told us about the project – primarily from what it would do to benefit the ice community,” Dockery said. “No questions were allowed, none. That’s a real problem for those of us who are on the other side. We weren’t allowed to go on record at that point, we weren’t allowed to get clarification, there was no information regarding our concerns.”