CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – A pair of major projects proposed in Chesterfield has pitted the city against the Parkway and Rockwood School Districts.

The core of this conflict rests on two different numbers. The City of Chesterfield projects that the pair of proposed developments will add 236 new students to the Parkway and Rockwood School Districts.

The districts said those developments would bring 842 new students. That 606-student discrepancy has created a huge controversy and little common ground.

“These projections Parkway is using, they just defy common sense,” said Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation.

“We have met with them. However, alternatives have not been presented to us,” said Patty Bedborogh, CFO of the Parkway School District.

The proposed $353 million tax increment financing package would pay for public infrastructure components of The Staenberg Group and CRG’s plans to build thousands of apartments, townhomes, offices, retail stores, restaurants, and road improvements on the Chesterfield Mall site and surrounding area.

Over the first 23 years of the proposed TIF, the additional property tax revenues do not go to the taxing authorities; they go to pay off the TIF. Once the TIF ends, the taxing authorities begin receiving increased revenue. Here is why the new student projections matter. More students equal more education funding. Bedborogh fears inadequate TIF funding will hamper the district’s ability to provide a high-quality education for students.

“While we presented the 25 percent enrollment, we’ve also done analysis going down to a 10 percent enrollment,” Bedborogh said. “That’s still an operating loss for the district over those 23 years.”

“They’re trying to insinuate that we’re taking money away from them,” Nation said. “Really, this TIF is an opportunity for additional revenues to come to them.”

“While we’re not contesting their revenue estimate, we also know it’s not necessarily an accurate picture of what it will be in 23 years,” Bedborogh said.

“Inexplicable is the word that comes to my mind as to why the school districts can be putting up such an objection,” Nation said.

The Parkway School District will hold a community Zoom meeting on this matter Wednesday morning. You can find a link here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The TIF commission is expected to make a recommendation to the Chesterfield City Council on this matter on Nov. 21. The council will decide the TIF’s fate.