Metro-East News

City of Chester sells decades-old skating rink

After years of declining interest and a growing reputation as a money pit, the City of Chester’s skating rink was sold Monday night for $176,000 to a local manufacturer.

The rink, just north of Chester, had been built years ago, Mayor Tom Page said, but these days, young people aren’t interested in spending much time there like they used to.

“I don’t believe it will be a knife in the heart (to the community), for lack of better words,” Page said about selling Skateland.

In the past decade, he said, the city had spent about $325,000 on repairs. The building is still in good condition, with a good heating and cooling system and a good roof, he added, but utilities and employees slowly became more than the city could afford.

Before the sale, Page said there had been some local interest. A few people asked for tours, and three bids came in. The winner, Flex-Line Automation, a nine-person company that makes conveyor and production-line machines, came in at $176,000.

Cathy Rinne, Flex-Line’s president, said the company needed some additional production space.

Casey Bischel: 618-239-2655, @CaseyBischel