Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Laced Up: Sale of Bonds Will Ice Rink Plans

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Laced Up: Sale of Bonds Will Ice Rink Plans

Article excerpt

When 11 ice-hockey enthusiasts got together in the Alton area about 30 months ago, their dream of building a major skating rink seemed to be more difficult than getting a shot past Curtis Joseph of the Blues.

But plans for a $2.7 million rink in the Eastgate Plaza shopping center in East Alton are now complete and await only the sale of the bonds to bring skating and hockey on a schedule of 20 hours a day, seven days a week, 12 months a year.

Mayor Wayne Buttry said the recently unstable, international bond market frustrated plans for competitive bidding and only one partial bid was received earlier this month. Now the city is trying to negotiate the sale of the bonds, which he believes will be faster and produce a better interest rate.

The bonds will be issued by the village and repaid over 20 years with proceeds from operation of the rink. No tax increase will be needed, and the village estimates proceeds 25 percent higher than the bond payments.

A ground-breaking ceremony is planned for a date to be announced later this month. Buttry said the contractor promises completion of the building by October 1 in time to crank up the fall hockey leagues.

Buttry and Dr. Randall Rogalsky, a member of the River Bend Ice Rink Committee that started the project, point to the $40,000 grant provided by the Illinois Commerce and Community Affairs Department as proof of wide-ranging support. They predict great things for the rink and its impact on the area.

They also have heaped praise on Osias "Ozzie" Goren, the owner of the shopping center who donated four acres at the north end for the rink. They said the land was appraised at $500,000.

"That was a big key to the project," Buttry said.

Rogalsky said a study commissioned by the committee chose Eastgate, at the intersection of Illinois Routes 3 and 143, as the best of 10 locations found for the rink. …

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