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Clayton ice rink redevelopment is delayed due to pandemic

"It's a great amenity to have that rink. It's a priority to get it done, but it does have a pretty big price tag."
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — Government officials are putting off the redevelopment of the Shaw Park ice rink in Clayton, as sales tax collections take a hit from the pandemic.

Construction on the $15.5 million project was to start this year, said City Manager David Gipson.

But sales tax collections for fiscal 2021, which begins Oct. 1, could fall 13% from 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, he said. The bonds eventually issued to pay for the project are to be paid back mostly with sales tax proceeds, Gipson said. The payments could total about $650,000 annually for 25 years. Clayton-based health care giant Centene Corp. has also pledged $2 million to the project.

Gipson said construction, which could take about 18 months, is to be pushed back about a year.

"It's certainly an important project for us," Gipson said. "Shaw Park is kind of the centerpiece of the city here. It's a great amenity to have that rink. It's a priority to get it done, but it does have a pretty big price tag.

"In order to make that work we need a little more stability in our revenue sources and see how quickly we can return to normal," he continued.

The project is to involve full demolition and rebuilding of an accompanying building and the rink. A new rink would feature a roof. Brentwood-based Chiodini Associates is the architect for the project. The city closed the rink last year.

Clayton's budget for fiscal 2021, which begins Oct. 1, expects a $2.9 million deficit, with revenue of $34.3 million and expenses of $37.2 million.

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