ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — An overflow crowd turned out for Tuesday night’s meeting of the St. Louis County Council, with some audience members having to wait out in the hallway for their turn to speak.
The main topic of discussion was the proposed ice hockey complex at Creve Coeur Lake Park, the subject of a recently drawn up non-binding resolution that would have the council take another look at the proposal.
In the meantime, any grading or other construction work going on at the proposed site would come to a halt.
St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger was clearly not pleased with that development and took it out on council chairman Sam Page during an exchange that seemed to stun the 300-plus in attendance.
“If you wanted (the proposal) held for an additional public hearing, you were free to do that,” Stenger told Page, sitting to his immediate left. “But I know the dog ate your homework and the sun was in your eyes so you have a hard time.”
The audience erupted, some cheering and some booing, but Stenger wasn’t finished.
“Look, you have to take ownership of what you’ve done,” he told Page. “You voted for it, you were the proponent of it and the council voted unanimously. Who are you trying to fool here…who are you trying to fool?”
Then it was the public’s turn have a say, much as they did during a county council meeting earlier this month during which more than 30 people spoke out.
But that number paled in comparison to the 100+ citizens who spoke out during Tuesday night’s meeting.
Mitch Leachman with the St. Louis Audubon Society spoke for park supporters.
“It’s the wrong place (for the ice complex),” he said. “It’s just a bad spot for it. It doesn’t need to be in public park land, especially when one considers all the various commercial and industrial vacant properties around the region.”
Dennis Vitt was on hand to support construction of the ice complex.
“The Blues are doing a great thing for our region and we should really support the efforts for youth hockey,” according to Vitt.
The project could still be months away from receiving needed approval from both the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the National Parks Service.
Meanwhile, the resolution — which again is non-binding — passed Tuesday night on a 4-3 vote.