Two Cents Worth: We can only continue with your support

By Nick Miller

 I’d like to discuss a few changes we are making here at the Weekly, particularly to our website. 

As many of you know, we are a small operation with only three employees, a few freelance writers, and the occasional intern or two. The operation isn’t huge, but it does the best it can with the resources it has. Many times I feel like we are playing at a much higher level than such a small group would be expected to. 

With that said, we started uploading our stories to our website last year around July as a way to spread our work farther and, hopefully, gain more readers and subscribers. However, what we have learned, and should have figured from the start, is that when people are given something for free they tend to not pay for it as well. 

Starting today, there will be no more free news on OFallonWeekly.com. While some may argue that digital is the future and that we need to post news to our site, I argue that the work of my team has value and they deserve to be compensated for their efforts. My people can’t survive on gratitude alone and so I rely on the subscribers and advertisers to make up my budget and keep the doors open. 

With this change, you will see an increase in E-Blasts to convey breaking and urgent news. So if you haven’t signed up for our E-Blasts, visit OFallonWeekly.com and sign up. They will continue to be free, however we are tweaking the content within those as well. 

Please don’t misunderstand this change as the Weekly burying its head in the sand and abandoning digital. The simple fact is that we have done a lot of research and studying and determined that while the news can, and eventually will, move online, we will have an even harder time making the needed money to operate when based online. This makes revenue from print that much more important right now as we plan, develop, and roll out what the Weekly will be one, three, or five years from now. 

So if you value local journalism and news, support the Weekly with a subscription. Urge a local business to promote themselves through advertisements. We can only continue with your support and assistance. 

Time for Spring Cleaning? Get rid of old electronics and more at Electronics Recycling Event June 1

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital invites the public to do their part to support environmental recycling efforts by hosting an E-Recycling Event for electronics on Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The collection vehicle will be located in the parking lot in front of the Health Center at 3 St. Elizabeth’s Blvd., O’Fallon, IL. 

“As a Franciscan ministry, we strive to be good stewards of the Earth and proudly offer collection events such as this to the community,” states Donna Meyers, Director of Mission Integration, Spiritual Care and Community Benefit. “It is an opportunity to reduce waste and treat the planet with respect.”

J&C E-Recycling will be managing the electronics recycling collection and will pay for some items including: computer towers, computer components, laptops and wire. Other items accepted include:  

• Printers

• Cell Phones

• Electric Motors

• Monitors

• Floppy Drives

• Keyboards, Mice

• Speakers

• Electronic Motors

• DVD/VHS Players

• Battery Backups

• Modems

• Computer Fans

• Batteries

• LCD Screens

In addition to the above, appliances will be also accepted including refrigerators, washer/dryers, dishwashers, freezers, small appliances (blenders, bread machines, hair dryers, etc.), TVs, lawnmowers, weed eaters, lawn tools and microwaves. 

Please note that there will be a $.50 per pound charge for TVs, (plasma, console, projection-DLP) CRT and monitors.

For specific questions on if an item will be accepted, call J&C E-Recycling at 618-233-5009. 

All donations are tax deductible. St. Elizabeth’s Mission Integration Committee thanks everyone for their donations to help us serve the community. 

Through their Franciscan ministry, St. Elizabeth’s follows in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology. Below are a few more simple ways that you can do the same and become environmental stewards to the earth.

Bag it.  When you go shopping, bring your own reusable bags. This preserves resources by cutting down on the huge number of paper and plastic bags that are discarded after a single trip. 

Shop at your local farmers’ market. This will help support farmers in your area and decrease the miles you drive to buy food.

Save on water. Drink water from the tap, instead of buying single-use bottled water, which requires much more energy to produce, store and transport. Use water filters if you are concerned about your local water supply.

Think before you print. With increased access to smart phones, iPads and laptops, oftentimes a hard copy is not necessary. Switching subscriptions and bill receipts to be sent via email is another great way to lessen paper waste.  

To stay informed of this event and other events, visit www.steliz.org/calendar.

Planning Commission approves Schnucks pour liquor license, new strip mall

Richard Hoenig, store director of Schnucks, spoke at Tuesday’s meeting and said the sale of beer and wine in the Kaldi’s Coffee Shop is meant to complement food sold in the shop. 
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef)

O’FALLON – At the planning commission meeting on Tuesday, May 14, the commission approved recommendations for a pour liquor license for Schnucks and a strip mall development behind Jimmy John’s in O’Fallon. 

Applicant Jed Penney for Schnucks Markets, Inc. has filed an application with the city of O’Fallon requesting planned use approval to obtain a pour liquor license to allow for the sale of wine and beer in the existing Kaldi’s Coffee Shop and covered patio at the grocery store. 

Schnucks, located at 907 E Highway 50, is currently zoned B-1 Community Business District and the applicant is requesting it be rezoned to B-1(P) Planned Community Business District to allow for the sale of retail liquor for onsite consumption. 

Richard Hoenig, store director of Schnucks, spoke at Tuesday’s meeting and said the sale of beer and wine in the Kaldi’s Coffee Shop is meant to complement food sold in the shop. 

Hoenig said those who choose to partake in the wine and beer consumption would be restricted to the coffee shop and the covered outside patio. 

Illinois State Statues require places with alcohol sales to be separated by a minimum of 100 feet from places of worship. Crossview Church is located 279 feet away from Schnucks, which meets the state’s requirement. 

Pastor of Crossview Church, Kent Wilson, spoke at Tuesday’s meeting against the request of Schnucks due to the risk of drunk driving and the nearby children who use the church’s land for recreational purposes. 

“Why would anyone want to subject our children or even our adults for that matter to the possibility of having an alcohol related incident on its property or the property of its neighbors,” Wilson asked those gathered at the meeting. 

“I’m not willing to jeopardize the health and safety of children or for anyone just so Schnucks can offer a single bottle of beer and make a few extra bucks,” he said. 

Hoenig said those working in the coffee shop would have the right to refuse service to customers should they be visibly impaired. “We do not want anyone leaving impaired from our establishment.”

“If something should happen, I want to be on record that our church stood up against this,” Wilson responded. 

The commission ultimately approved the recommendation in a majority vote to approve the pour liquor license for Schnucks on the condition that the liquor sales be between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., which coincides with Kaldi’s food sale hours. 

Also at the May 14 meeting, the commission passed a motion to recommend approval of the Planned Use for The Shops at Richland Creek.

The applicant, Geren Moor of Franklin Land Associates, LLC has filed an application requesting approval of a planned use and preliminary plat for parcels of land generally located in the southwest corner of Green Mount Road and Central Park Drive, extending south to include frontage on Frank Scott Parkway.  

The application is for a 17.23-acre mixed use development to be known as The Shops at Richland Creek, including an 8-lot preliminary plat.  The initial phase includes three buildings, totaling 17,800 square feet of retail and restaurant development on Lot 8 (3.03-acre proposed parcel). 

The remaining lots would be for various other retail, hospitality and service type uses.  The site includes providing a public street connecting Frank Scott Parkway to Central Park Drive, with a signalized intersection at both Frank Scott Road and Central Park Drive. 

The development will also construct private drives to provide access to the other seven lots associated with The Shops at Richland Creek, including a right-in, right-out on Central Park Drive and cross-access to the retail strip center and the Bank of Edwardsville/ Bussey Bank lots along Green Mount Road. 

The applicant is requesting the property be rezoned from “B-1” Community Business District to “B-1(P)” Planned Community Business District. 

Jeff Pape of GBT Realty Corp., spoke of the development and some of the potential businesses that would make up the plaza. 

Pape said potential businesses that have expressed interest in being in the plaza are taco bell, mod pizza, chicken salad chick, wasabi sushi, smoothie king and The Learning Experience, which is a pre-school program. 

The commission recommended approval of the Planned Use Rezoning with the following conditions.

• Variance to the buffer requirement to allow for the existing natural buffer to be allowed in lieu of constructing a structural buffer.

• All recommendations of the traffic study shall be incorporated in the approval of The Shops at Richland Creek. 

• The traffic study must be approved by St. Clair County Department of Roads and Bridges.

• A set of Declaration of Restrictive Covenants and Reciprocal Easement Agreement must be recorded with the plat to maintain common improvements, provided for cross-access and cross parking for all the lots, compatible materials and size of signage and buildings. 

• The remaining lots in The Shops at Richland Creek will be subject to the Commercial Design Handbook as well as the Declaration of Restrictive Covenants and Reciprocal Easement Agreement for the overall development of the project.

• The planned use for The Shops at Richland Creek will include the approval of the uses outlined in the report for Lot 1 – Lot 7.

O’Fallon comes out for first Vine Street Market

By Annabelle Knef and Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – O’Fallon Stations’ Vine Street Market held its grand opening on Saturday, May 11, and many residents were in attendance.

Residents shopped from various vendors selling plants and flowers, culinary items and artisanal products. Despite the rain and gloom, many stopped to enjoy live music available at the market. 

During the Parks and Environment committee meeting on Monday, the aldermen received an update on the first weekend of the Vine Street Market. 

Despite dreary weather, event organizers estimated 2,200 people attended the opening day of the market. 

Director of Parks and Recreation, Mary Jeanne Hutchison, mentioned a couple of the vendors sold out of their products early in the market.  

“The guys that had the lettuce ran out three times. The bread guy ran out in about two hours,” she said. 

The market has thirty-five culinary, grower and artisan vendors each Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon through October 19th. As the area gets further into the growing season, visitors will see a larger selection of produce available. A sponsorship from Avenue Realty Associates will also bring live music to each market day, a performance schedule is located on the O’Fallon Station website.

(O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Annabelle Knef)

View of the Past: Brice McGeehon in front of his shoe store in 1910

This week’s view is of Brice McGeehon standing on the doorstep of his shoe store that was located in a building, now long gone, at 119 W. First Street in O’Fallon. He purchased the business about 1904 from Frank M. Vogt.  Prior to that, he served as O’Fallon Postmaster during the administrations of Presidents Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley.   The photo was taken about 1910.  

Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society

For more, stop by the O’Fallon Historical Museum, located at 101 West State Street. The Museum is open Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and by appointment.

Veterans United Home Loans in Scott Air Force Base hosts grand re-opening

SCOTT AFB – The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce joined Veterans United Home Loans as they celebrated the expansion of their offices at 735 Seibert Road, Suite 3, in O’Fallon, Illinois.  They celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for real estate agent partners and clients on Wednesday, April 3.

On the same day, employees at Veterans United presented the local chapter of Disabled American Veterans with a donation of $5,000 through the company’s philanthropic arm, Veterans United Foundation. These funds will be used to help serve disabled Veterans in the St. Louis region through the Fisher House at Jefferson Barracks, meal programs, State Veterans Homes, honor flights and the Golden Age Games.

“We are proud to support such an incredible organization that is enhancing lives every single day,” said Michelle Dapkus, a loan officer for Veterans United at Scott Air Force Base.

First National Bank of Waterloo holds spring shred day, donates to food pantry

O’Fallon area residents were lined up to take advantage of First National Bank of Waterloo’s free annual spring shred day event on Saturday, April 13, in the Schnucks parking lot.

Throughout the morning, more than 16,575 pounds of paper were shredded, filling the truck. 

“It is such a secure way to clear the clutter, as well as helping to save the Earth. We also try to use the event to help the community. As part of the shred event, we accept donation items for the O’Fallon Community Food Pantry,” said Laura Mergelkamp, First National Bank of Waterloo’s Marketing Director.

ABOVE: Anita Hall and Ashley Gustin from First National Bank of Waterloo’s Schnucks Banking Center are pictured with the large number of donated items collected for the O’Fallon Food Pantry. Additionally, the bank presented a check for the cash donations they received. 
(Submitted Photo)

The bank also holds an annual fall shred day for those who couldn’t attend the recent event.

Shiloh Board discusses sewer system sale, 2019-20 budget

SHILOH – At the Shiloh Committee at Large meeting on Monday, trustees discussed the Asset Purchase Agreement between the Village of Shiloh and Illinois American Water for their purchase of the Village’s sanitary sewer system. 

The current wastewater collection system called the “System” is around 37 years old, according to Mayor Jim Vernier. 

“There’s a lot of equipment out there that is 37 years old,” Vernier said. “With the current system, the Village is losing money.”

Under the Asset Purchase Agreement, Shiloh would sell substantially all of the assets that constitute or are used in furtherance of the System to Illinois American.

Trustees spoke in favor of the Asset Purchase Agreement with Illinois American Water and will bring the vote to the next regular board meeting. 

Trustees then discussed the proposed fiscal year 2019-2020 budget. The budget is balanced, proposes revenues and expenditures that are conservative, but reflect the current fiscal and economic climate in the Village, according to Village administrator, John Marquart.

Marquart said numbers within the proposed budget will change as developments move from their stalled status to within the Village of Shiloh.

The park and tourism funds will be active in particular, according to Marquart. The park fund is outlined for projected improvements in the Three Springs Master Plan, a multi-phase plan to revitalize the Village’s largest park. 

Improvements include tennis court repairs, playground enhancements, sealing the Three Springs Park parking lot, repainting the basketball courts, etc. 

Within the tourism fund, marketing activity will continue in full force, according to Marquart. The marketing activity aims to show surrounding communities that the Village is a destination. 

The total proposed budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year is a figure of about $7.5 million. 

Trustees then discussed the partnership renewal with Buxton Company, the economic development firm that has represented the Village for the past approximate year. 

Trustee Greg O’Neil said he doesn’t wish to move forward with the partnership because Buxton has not brought enough commercial development to the Village. 

“I, personally don’t feel like another $50,000 is going to get us anywhere,” O’Neil said. 

Trustee Mark Herrmann agreed with O’Neil and said for the $50,000 cost per year contract, he expected “a bit more” development within the Village. 

Trustees, with the exception of Tina Wrzek, agreed to sever the partnership with Buxton Company. However, the vote will move to the next regular board meeting on Monday, May 6. 

Over 300 kids take part in Creative Landscapes egg hunt

More than 300 kids came out to find more than 3,500 eggs hidden all over the greenhouse and grounds at Creative Landscapes at their Spring Open House event on Saturday, April 20.

In addition to the egg hunt, kids could have their faces painted, play games, and draw on the parking lot with chalk. 

Creative Landscapes offered free hot dogs and drinks to everyone and held a blood drive on site.

(Submitted Photos)

City prepares for summer roadwork

By Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – The Public Works Committee approved to send to council five resolutions for contracts related to various, upcoming road projects. 

A contract with Geotechnology for $25,000 and a contract with Rhutasel and Associates, Inc. for $28,000 were approved for engineering services related to the upcoming, summer project for Simmons Road between the Milburn School Road and Porter Road roundabouts. Because a substantial portion of the construction costs associated with this project are part of a federal grant, there are additional requirements prior to construction. 

Construction is expected to begin in June, shortly after local schools are completed. Curbs and gutters will be added, as well as a left turn lane into the Parcs of Arbor Green subdivision, and the completion of a sidewalk to the roundabout at Milburn School Road. The road will be closed to through traffic until completion, but will be done in two phases so residents of the Parcs of Arbor Green subdivision will have access via a paved road the entire time. The projected completion date is late September. 

The 2019 concrete replacement program went out for bid last week. Six bids were submitted, with Lake Contracting, Inc. being the lowest bidder. The committee approved to send to council a contract for $234,852 for various curb and sidewalk replacements to be done throughout the city. Many of these projects are done prior to the updates to the streets identified by the city’s pavement management program. 

A contract with Christ Brothers Asphalt, Inc. for $1,119,941.80 was approved to send to council from four bids for the 2019 street resurfacing program. Streets that will be resurfaced are the front section of Witte Farms subdivision, Southview Gardens (after the completion of the water and sewer main work), the Howard Place area, the front section of the Thornbury Hills subdivision, Homestead Street and Crestview Road area, and Smiley between Highway 50 and Wesley. 

The final contract approved to send to council by the committee was with Sonnenberg Asphalt Co. for $145,740 for parking lot sealing and striping of sixteen different city properties. Two bids were received for the project. 

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine recognized with National Award for Clinical Excellence

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HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine recently received a National Award for Clinical Excellence from Healogics, the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services. 

The Center received this honor for providing outstanding clinical outcomes for twelve consecutive months, including patient satisfaction higher than 92 percent, and a minimum wound healing rate of at least 91 percent within 30 median days to heal. 

“We are pleased to have received this national distinction,” shared St. Elizabeth’s President and CEO Patti Fischer. “The high quality, safe care that our Wound Care Center provides is often life changing for many of the patients that enter its doors. This award is a testament to that excellent care and we congratulate all involved for their dedication and ongoing commitment to our patients.” 

The St. Elizabeth’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine is a member of the Healogics network of nearly 700 Wound Care Centers® and provides access to benchmarking data and proven experience treating approximately 2.5 million chronic wounds.  

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital offers highly specialized wound care to patients suffering from diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections and other chronic wounds which have not healed in a reasonable amount of time. Leading edge treatments at the Center include negative pressure wound therapy, total contact casting, bio-engineered tissues, biosynthetic dressings and growth factor therapies. The Center also offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy. 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is advanced wound care that increases oxygen to the body, by allowing patients to breathe 100 percent oxygen in a pressurized chamber The increase in oxygen helps to carry nutrients to wounds through the bloodstream and increases circulation, which improves healing in problematic wounds for many patients.

“As a collaborative team, we work hard to make sure that we are providing the best care, and the most effective treatments for our patients. Our goal is to find the cause, heal the wound, and help educate the patient on prevention of wounds and other related health problems.  In working with all departments of the hospital, we can provide comprehensive care for our patients,” said Dr. Bryon Gorton, Medical Director of St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center, member of HSHS Medical Group and certified Wound Specialist Physician. “We very much appreciate receiving this award, but what we really look forward to each and every day is when we are able to release a patient from our care because that means their wound has been healed – that’s why we do what we do.” 

To date, St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center has healed 3092 patient wounds since opening in 2013. “St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center is devoted to healing problem wounds and helping our patients to reclaim the quality of their lives. In fact, we have had great success in healing patients who have been dealing with open wounds for years,” said Jeanette Martineau, RN and Clinical Program Director for St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center. “If you or a loved one is suffering from a wound that has not begun to heal after four weeks with traditional treatment methods, contact St. Elizabeth’s Wound Care Center at 618-234-2120, ext. 32742,” encourages Martineau. “Our compassionate, highly skilled team is ready to help.” A physician referral is not required. 

The Wound Care Centers at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland, sister facilities to St. Elizabeth’s, also received this national Center of Distinction Award.

Telesto Group celebrates ribbon cutting

CEO Telesto Group Soren Hastrup cuts the ribbon (Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce joined the Telesto Group as they celebrate their new location at 475 Regency Park Drive, Ste 200 in O’Fallon. They celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 18.

Telesto Group is a technology solutions provider and SAP Partner focused on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) support for the Department of Defense, primarily in the Army with recent significant expansion at USTRANSCOM. Headquartered in West Palm Beach, FL, Telesto has a long history of federal projects (including DOI, USDA, Navy and Army) along with projects in state governments and the commercial sector.  

Telesto opened their O’Fallon, IL location after being selected to create a prototype to upgrade USTRANSCOM’s Transportation Management (TM) solution. This important project will support the mission to provide functional, secure, fully-auditable and global solutions that move people, supplies, and equipment to customers during peace and war. The long-term goal of this initial implementation is to retire a series of transportation legacy systems and create a long-term operational TM solution for USTRANSCOM.

“Telesto Group is proud to be the Lead Systems Integrator for this innovative, global, joint forces project,” said Soren Hastrup, Telesto Group CEO. “We are also pleased to join the business community here in O’Fallon.”

Learn more at www.telestogroup.com.

Law changes mean the end of restaurant inspection scores

A change in policy regarding restaurant inspection reports in St. Clair County went into effect January of this year, a switch from the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code to the FDA Food Code. 

The new code adopted by the county no longer issues numerical scores to restaurants based upon safety and cleanliness inspections. According to St. Clair County Health Department Director of Environmental Programs Sharon Valentine, the FDA Code is a detailed, written report based on the county’s inspection. 

Valentine said the county hasn’t changed its health regulations, they are only reported differently under the FDA Code. 

“The state of Illinois decided we would change from the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code to the FDA Code because of the science behind the FDA Code,” Valentine said. “It’s updated every two years, so when we go to use the code, we don’t have to worry about it being out of date or no longer having the information we need.”

“The FDA Code is updated on a routine basis,” she said. “There is no longer a score.”

Valentine said restaurants could have the potential of two different sets of violations with the inspection. Within the inspection form, the top part is risk factors for food-borne illness and the bottom part are good retail practices. 

“There are 29 different items that are food-borne illness risk factors and public health interventions,” Valentine said. 

Valentine said the good retail practices are things needed to be corrected by restaurants within a period of time, while the food-borne illness risk factors and public health interventions need to be corrected while health inspectors are present at the facility. 

Per the good retail practices, Valentine gave the example of an individual or employee lacking proper certifications or training. 

“If the person that’s there at the establishment doesn’t have the proper certifications or the proper training, we’re going to give them 30 days to get that training,” she said. “Now it’s easy to do, you can get that training at a class or online and then take a proctored exam – but 30 days is sufficient to get enrolled, take the course and get that certification.”

“Scores gave the general public at a glance what we were seeing on that particular day,” Valentine said. “Now, what we have done because there is no score on the FDA Code inspection form, we have asked our restaurants to post that in public view.”

Valentine said the county began informing the public about the new FDA Code over a year ago so that people in restaurants had the opportunity to compare the code differences. 

“There are a lot more interactive questions when we come in and it’s more interactive with the restaurant than it actually was before,” she said. “It’s not something we can just run through and do very quickly. It takes a little bit more time now.”

“The actual violations are in a different place but they are basically the same type of violations that we had before.”

Valentine said the new FDA Code is helping both the restaurants and the public understand what actually causes food-borne illness and how it can be prevented. 

“It has a bigger education piece,” she said. 

According to Valentine, how often inspections take place depends on the restaurant and the food it serves. 

“Some facilities are inspected every four months, everybody is inspected every six months,” she said. 

“If they have food that is cooked, cooled and reheated then they are inspected every four months. If they just cook and serve, those are every six months,” Valentine said. “Unless there are complaints – then we will do those more often.” 

Valentine said restaurants in St. Clair County must have their health inspection report posted at their establishment. The general public can also request a copy of the food inspection from the county under the Freedom of Information Act as it is considered public record. 

Commission approves senior living facility, church in Vetta Sports

Gary Dial of Community Bible Church. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef)

O’FALLON – At a planning commission meeting on Tuesday, April 9, the commission approved recommendations for a senior living facility along Frank Scott Parkway and Community Bible Church in the Vetta Sports building on Hartman Lane. 

The senior living facility known as Keystone Place at Richland Creek would be located at 1050 Fountain Lakes Drive on the northwest quadrant of the intersection of Frank Scott Parkway and Fountain Lakes Drive. 

The applicant, Fernando Casey of Nascon, LLC, filed an application to the city of O’Fallon requesting a zoning amendment and planned use approval to construct the 152-unit, four story and 167,874 square foot facility. 

The applicant is requesting the property be rezoned from “B-1(P)” Planned Community Business District to “MR-2(P)” Multi-Family Residence Dwelling District. 

The 4.9 acre site is currently vacant and was previously approved for a retail center and restaurant but was never constructed. 

The senior living facility would offer three different unit types, including independent living units, assisted living units and memory care units. It would have 53 independent living units with 34 one-bed and 19 two- bed units, 75 assisted living units with 60 one-bed and 15 two-bed units and 24 memory care one-bed units. 

The O’Fallon planning commission approved staff recommendation for approval of the Keystone Place at Richland Creek project with the following conditions: 

• Parking requirements for the senior living facility move from 186 spaces to 115 spaces, per ITE recommended parking calculations for retirement facilities.

• If the cross-access easement is obtained, the easement and joint maintenance agreement/covenants will be required for the access points with the apartments and senior living facility. 

• There will be a park land dedication requirement of 0.528 acres, with the requirement being fulfilled through a fee in lieu of land in the amount of $26,928.

• The building will need to be constructed with fiber cement siding, not vinyl siding. 

Nick Burrus of Milano and Grunloh Engineers. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef)

Nick Burrus of Milano and Grunloh Engineers was present at the Tuesday meeting to show support for the senior living facility project. 

The commission then oversaw the application from Community Bible Church requesting a planned use authorization for a parcel of land at 590 Hartman Lane for a church in a B-1 (P) Planned Community Business zone district.

The building located on the property is currently used for Vetta Sports. The application indicates the proposal is for the reuse of the existing structure and parking lot for the church, including the use of the building for church services, offices and meetings.

Gary Dial of Community Bible Church said the intent of the church is renovate the inside for use and meet city requirements as well. “And to hopefully make improvements to the structure itself and provide benefits to the community.” 

Dan Polites, who owns property south of the Vetta Sports building, attended the April 9 meeting to show support for Community Bible Church and said it’s a “nice addition” to the O’Fallon community. 

The O’Fallon planning commission approved staff recommendation for approval of Community Bible Church with the following conditions: 

• The occupancy of the church shall not exceed the city’s minimum parking requirements for spaces provided on the property.  Based on the current 131 parking spaces — the maximum occupancy is limited to 327 people.  If at any time the church were to construct additional parking on-site, the city would reevaluate the maximum capacity.

• No expansion of parking or the building is permitted with this planned use.

• The property must be cleaned up and restored prior to occupying the building, including; street trees along Hartman Lane, all lighting standards shall be repaired and operational and the drainage ditch present along the southern property line will need to be cleaned up to ensure the parking space depths are achieved.

• No parking shall occur off-site.

• If the area to the east of the building is to be used for parking, it must be upgraded to new parking lot standards.

• Due to the nature of the nearby drainage ditch, encroachment could occur on the ditch; however, if the riparian area of the ditch is encroached upon by future development additional best practices for stabilizing and maintaining the ditch will need to be constructed in accordance with the Public Works Department. 

Holistic Journey serves community with massage and positive energy

The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce joined owner Jennifer
Deschene as she opens her massage and wellness business, Holistic
Journey, on March 20. (Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – Holistic Journey opened its doors in January and owner Jennifer Deschene is ready to serve the O’Fallon community with massage therapy and positive energy. 

Deschene first started her business out of her Belleville home in January 2010. At the same time, she was working as a contractor out of Scott Air Force Base. 

“After a year I was ready to transition into a store front,” Deschene said. “I started off in downtown on Main Street in Belleville.”

A few years passed and Deschene decided to close her store because of overhead costs and begin massage therapy school in Swansea. 

“That’s when it all came together for me,” she said. “I could use all of what I had learned from having this business that was promoting health and wellness and different complimentary therapies like reiki and put it altogether with massage.” 

Deschene said her business primarily centers around massage therapy with various techniques from Swedish to deep tissue and also what she likes to call “integrative.” 

“I love Myofascial release,” she said. “It is working with fascial to release restriction that has built up over a long period of time. It is also similar trigger point work.” 

Deschene’s love of body work came about after she sustained a hip injury during active duty.  

“My own personal experience has really guided my interest level and taking better care of myself has helped me understand the approach with other people that are dealing with pain and restriction of motion.”

Deschene entered the Army Reserves out of Belleville in 1998, having been activated right after September 11, 2001. Her injury occurred during a stateside activation to Virginia where she was a transportation coordinator. It was there that she tore cartilage in her hip while carrying heavy equipment on her back, an event that led to chronic back pain. 

“Unfortunately, the military didn’t find it and diagnose it,” she said of her injury. “I had to find out backwards many years later.” 

Deschene said she turned to massage therapy and reiki for relief. 

“It wasn’t one of those things that became very regular for me until 2006 but I did try it and reiki,” she said. 

Deschene described reiki as working with the energy system of the body. “It’s very subtle but it can have a calming effect.” 

Reiki, a form of alternative medicine, also promotes oxygenation of the tissue and is complementary of massage therapy. 

Deschene said she moved herself and her son to O’Fallon in part due to the school system. She worked in a chiropractor’s office while steadily growing clientele for her business. 

After finally opening her business in January, Deschene said she joined the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce. 

While Holistic Journey primarily focuses on massage, she also plans on offering reiki classes where people can learn to do it for themselves. She also plans on offering guided meditation classes. 

Deschene said an ideal client at Holistic Journey is “pretty much anybody that wants to take care of themselves a little bit better.” 

“I do like to see people that are willing to really improve their lives and their health and wellness overall,” she said. 

For more information about her services and classes, visit https://www.facebook.com/HolisticJourney9/.