Explore St. Louis in Confusion, City Has Not Issued Debt for Expansion

The $ 175 million project includes expanding the convention center to the west, adding a grand ballroom, additional exhibition space and 26 loading docks

ST. LOUIS – It emerged that a St. Louis City Board of Directors will meet on Friday to approve the issuance of a $ 105 million debt for the expansion of the America’s Center convention complex downtown .

that would have followed previous delays in the show caused by uncertainty over public finances amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Friday’s Municipal Finance Corp. was canceled, according to city records, because three of the five members did not agree with its schedule.

A member of the board, the city’s budget manager, Paul Payne, has said he wants the city to receive information on its financial health from Moody’s Investors Service, possibly by the end of July. This is part of the so-called annual “monitoring” carried out by the big three rating agencies.

“I want to be deliberative,” Payne said.

But the city’s continued delays have confused Explore St. Louis, the region’s tourism agency pushing the expansion plan.

“We understand that the resolution before (Municipal Finance Corp.) is for them to authorize (Controller Darlene Green) to proceed with the bond issue when the time is right,” said Kitty Ratcliffe, president of ‘Explore St. Louis, in a statement. “We were told that this gives his office the flexibility to make that decision quickly if necessary based on market timing. So based on that, we don’t know why (Municipal Finance Corp.) would not have proceeded to proceed. that .”

In addition to Payne, the council includes two people appointed by Mayor Lyda Krewson, and one by Green and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed.

The $ 175 million project includes expanding the convention center to the west, adding a grand ballroom, additional exhibition space and 26 loading docks.

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