Mayor encourages community to get involved as council openings approach

Mayor Herb Roach encouraged those interested in running for City Council in April to begin to get involved in the community and its affairs now, if they aren’t already. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef)

By Annabelle Knef

O’FALLON – Mayor Herb Roach said that the City of O’Fallon will need to fill between five and seven city council positions in the coming months and encouraged the involvement of community members interested in continuing their growth “and the operations of our community.”

At a town hall meeting on July 11 at the O’Fallon Fire Department where Roach announced vacancies would open in the next five to eight months, he said the forum was for the community to ask city officials any questions they may have regarding city projects.

“This is your meeting and the idea is to give you information and answer the questions that you may have,” Roach said.

Discussion at the town hall mostly focused on road projects.

Director of Public Works Jeff Taylor informed those who gathered that a consultant hired by the city analyzed every road within city limits and based off of that information, they were able to determine which roads needed attention. He pointed out different construction activity currently taking place around the city, most notably the new roundabout at Milburn and Old Collinsville Road.

Taylor reported that good progress has been made at the Milburn-Old Collinsville roundabout since construction started shortly after Memorial Day, and expects it to be completed in August before schools are in session.

A second project that just began yesterday is intersection improvements at Central Park and Greenmount Road, according to Taylor.

“That project just started, what you’ll see initially are temporary traffic signals,” Taylor said. “We’re hoping that will be completed sometime later this fall.”

He said that during the construction of the intersection, there won’t be any lane closures.

Assistant city administrator Grant Litteken said that the city is working hard to provide additional parking throughout O’Fallon.

“The first and easiest one to provide additional [parking] spots will be next to the Chamber of Commerce,” Litteken said. “This was done by relocating a bus route in coordination with St. Clair County.”

Litteken said that the parking construction should be complete by the end of the month.

He also said that beyond public investments and projects, there is an “extensive” list of private investments taking place around O’Fallon.

One investment includes Marcus Theatre- which has been approved for an expansion of two “high quality” IMAX screens.

Another is McDonald’s on Highway 50 in front of Walmart, which is getting ready to remodel its interior and exterior, Litteken said.

He also acknowledged the recent successful opening of Lion’s Choice in the old Tim Horton’s location.

“We’re working hard to continue the growth in O’Fallon,” he said.

Litteken added that the city is working on a website that’s “going to help market the city of O’Fallon a little bit better.”

The future holds a lot of re-development as well, he said.

Southview Plaza is one area that Litteken said is on its way to a “demolition and remediation of the environmental contamination from a laundry mat.”

Regarding the city council openings expected in the coming months, Roach encouraged the group to consider becoming involved.

“I think you’ve got to want to do this for the right reasons, you have got to want to do this because you care about the community and you want to see this community be the place where families want to come and where businesses want to come,” Roach said.

Roach said that the family aspect of O’Fallon is what makes it the “most popular location in Southwestern Illinois and one of the most popular in the greater St. Louis area.”

“This city is my family,” he said.

Roach said that potential city councilmen should be prepared to put in the time for the job.

“This is not something where you’re just going to come to a meeting once or twice a month,” he said. “You’re going to dedicate every Monday night.”

“You have got to be prepared to speak your mind if you feel strongly about something,” Roach said. “Because the only way we really come to the best result is when you hear both sides of an issue.”

Roach said that an individual on city council has to think about more than people in just their ward.

“The tricky part is you have to stop and think ‘well maybe that’s good for my ward but is it really good for the overall community,’” he said. “You’re representing the people of your ward who elected you but you are also representing the entire community.”

Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier delivers upbeat State of the Village address

Jim Vernier, Shiloh Mayor

By Annabelle Knef

SHILOH – Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier delivered an upbeat report at last Wednesday’s State of the Village address, saying “things are going well.”

He said the village continues to operate on a fiscally sound footing, made possible in part by the growth of new medical-related businesses that supply healthy tax revenue.

“We’re experiencing growth in our sales tax numbers brought on by all the new employees at these medical facilities both in O’Fallon and Shiloh,” Vernier said.

Vernier said that sales tax receipts are up 20 percent over last year.

He acknowledged the success of Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh and recognized that it will soon be one year since the opening of its first additional medical building.

“That facility houses all types of health services from minor surgeries to therapy, X-ray and MRI services, it’s all in that facility,” Vernier said.

He noted that the Memorial medical building with its approximate 200 employees “are also spending money in our community.”

“The best thing” he said for future development is a Siteman Cancer facility.

“Siteman Cancer Center is a nationally recognized facility. Their oncologists and doctors are known throughout the country- and the world for that that matter. They have submitted their site plan and their grading permit, and that is with our engineers for review,” Vernier said.

The center is estimated to cost $45 million, according to Vernier.

“I’ll add that I had little to do with BJC deciding to build the Siteman Cancer facility in Shiloh, I just happened to be the mayor. I thank God I don’t need their services but I know so many people who do,” he said.

“This I truly believe is the greatest addition to overall healthcare in our region in decades and I for one couldn’t be happier for the Siteman Cancer coming to our area in Shiloh- but it’s going to be here for all of us. It will treat people from Springfield to Southern Illinois and it will save a lot of families a lot of grief.”

Vernier said that the facility “should be going under construction very soon.”

Vernier also recognized the Village’s success in opening the new VA Clinic on Fortune Boulevard.

“It’s about two and a half times the size of the one in Belleville,” he said. “It’s a beautiful facility.”

Vernier said another project that is underway in Shiloh right now is construction of The Summit subdivision.

Vernier said that it’s “probably the largest subdivision in the region under construction right now.”

“It’s a good investment in our community,” he said.

Vernier said the project will cost nearly $100 million, which includes the estate homes and street construction. “They’re also going to have a large swimming pool up near the entrance. The pool will accommodate 150 people and the clubhouse is a two- story facility.”

Two additional projects that are under construction in Shiloh, according to Vernier, are The Villages of Hartman Lake, and The Savannah, both new multi-family community complexes.

Vernier said that units in both complexes are expected to be “top of the line” and that the developers of both projects are hoping to attract health care professionals as well as military personnel from Scott AFB.

Vernier said that the Village has hired a ‘master planner’ for Three Springs Park.

“They’re going to be designing a new entry- way. It’s going to be nice. It’s long over due,” he said.

Vernier said with the growth of Village employees, they are very “cramped and crowded” in the Village hall.

“We have hired FGM Architects. They are designing for us a new Municipal complex. We decided to keep the administrative offices and the police department in the same building,” he said.

Currently serving his fourth term as mayor, Vernier was first elected in 2001 and was re-elected to consecutive terms in 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2017. Vernier’s record of public service began in 1985, when he was elected as a Village trustee.

“I must have been here a long time,” Vernier said.

In his address to the community, Vernier recognized O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach, as well as village officials that were in attendance.

“We don’t have a large staff, we are up to eight employees in the Village hall,” Vernier said.

Vernier said that the village recently hired two new police officers, which brings the Shiloh Police Department up to 20 full time officers.

“Our public works department is up to eight staff members there,” he said.  “I get most of the attention but all of these fine people are what make our community work day after day and I want to thank them for the service that they provide our community.”

Amazon Prime Day 2018: Early Prime Day Deals Have Arrived

It’s Black Friday in July! Are you ready for Amazon Prime Day 2018?

Amazon Prime Day starts on Monday, July 16 at 3pm EST and goes until Tuesday night July 17. Over a million products will be discounted on Amazon.com, but not all at the same time, and not all of the deals will be available both days. Some deals will be available only during certain hours and other deals will sell out and be gone forever.

You don’t have to wait until Monday for Prime deals. Early Prime Day Deals have already started to pop up. We have put together a list of a few early deals available now. We will try to update this list with more deals over the next week.

The Echo Show – Prime members save $100

Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. Watch video flash briefings, Amazon Video content, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, browse and listen to Audible audiobooks, and more. All hands-free—just ask.

Three months of Kindle Unlimited for $0.99 for Prime members

Enjoy unlimited access to over 1 million books. Explore a rotating selection of popular magazines. Listen to thousands of books with Audible narration. Read anytime, on any device with the Kindle app.

Four months of Amazon Music for $1

Tens of millions of songs with new releases from today’s most popular artists. Listen ad-free with unlimited skips. Download for offline listening.

Up to 50% off back to school and summer favorites for Prime members

Back packs, school supplies, and other discounted items.

Prime members save an extra $25 on Certified Refurbished Fire HD 8 Tablet

The next generation of the best-reviewed Fire tablet, with up to 12 hours of battery life, a vibrant 8″ HD display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and Dolby Audio. More durable than the latest iPad.

Southview Plaza closer to demolition, but contamination concerns stall redevelopment

Mayor Herb Roach stated that one of the last remaining obstacles to leveling Southview Plaza is the relocation of Papa John’s Pizza. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – The Southview Plaza in O’Fallon has the potential to be re-developed, but Mayor Herb Roach said that it needs to be demolished first. 

“As everybody knows, the plaza has been deteriorating and there are a lot of vacant buildings over there,” Roach said. “We cannot continue to let it go down hill and not try to get something working so we can get that re- established.”

To read the full article, pick up a copof this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition. Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper.

Lion’s Choice returning to O’Fallon area at old Tim Horton’s site

The Lion’s Choice sign near the road was installed on Friday, May 31, signaling the fast food chain’s return to O’Fallon.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – Lion’s Choice, a fast- food chain restaurant with its headquarters based in St. Louis, is opening a branch in O’Fallon. The new restaurant is set to open July 17, according to the Lion’s Choice corporate office. 

Despite a previous O’Fallon branch of Lion’s Choice located on East Highway 50 closing, community development director Ted Shekell said he thinks the new restaurant located off Green Mount Road at 450 Regency Park will be successful.

To read the full article, pick up a copof this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition. Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper. 

O’Fallon committee approves plan for car wash at former Car Credit City site

The O’Fallon City Council’s Community Development Committee approved a plan for Tommy’s Car Wash to build a 5,190 square foot tunnel car wash at 1701 West Highway 50, the former home to Car Credit City.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – A proposal for a new car wash at 1701 West Highway 50 was approved by the Community Development Committee Monday night. 

Tommy’s Car Wash will construct a new, 5,190 square foot tunnel car wash with 18 outdoor vacuum stations after demolition of the current structure previously used by Car Credit City. Council will also be asked to approve a rezoning of the lot from B2 General Business District to B1 Community Business District.

To read the full article, pick up a copof this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper. 

Council votes in favor of parking lot over objections

Greg Peterson points to some currently vacant lots along Fox Glenn Drive in Hunter’s Crossing Subdivision as a possible park location. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

O’FALLON – Monday night’s City Council meeting involved approving multiple service agreements and ordinances, but it was the City Hall parking expansion project and the naming of the downtown pavilion, plaza and parking portion of the Destination O’Fallon economic development plan that garnered the most discussion. 

St. Clare Parish Trustee Mike Crupe addressed the council first during public comment to ask them to reconsider the idea of paving the city-owned land, or at least delay it until after the parish’s planned Oktoberfest. He brought with him letters from St. Clare School students for the council to read prior to their vote.

To read the full article, pick up a copof this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper.

Memorial East offering high tech rehab facility

Therapist Bridget Whiteside shows Cheryl Singsank how the Alter G, anti-gravity treadmill, can track various pieces of information while a runner uses the machine in order to help get them back on a road to recovery. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

SHILOH – Located on the third floor of the new medical office building at Memorial East, patients can receive a wide variety of recovery assistance in the hospital’s new Rehabilitation Services suite.

Aside from physical therapy, the Rehabilitation Services area offers speech and occupational therapy assistance as well. Memorial East is inviting the public to come by and see what all is available at an open house on Thursday, May 10, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

To read the full article, pick up a copof this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper.

Memorial President provides update on healthcare issues and hospital system

Memorial Hospital President Mark Turner gives a presentation about healthcare issues and provides updates on the local hospitals to the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals group. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – Healthcare costs and insurance can be confusing for anyone. Memorial Regional Health Services President Mark Turner spoke to the O’Fallon- Shiloh Chamber of Commerce members about what the current issues are facing the industry professionals and consumers today as everyone tries to navigate health insurance. 

O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce Events Coordinator Jessica Lotz introduced Turner, and spoke of the growth of Memorial’s healthcare system, including the new Memorial East Hospital, the new Memorial and BJC physicians offices, as well as Siteman Cancer Center coming to the area. 

To read the full article, pick up a copof this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper. 

Sugarfire 64 opens its doors for business

Executive Chef Tyson Long and Sugarfire 64 Owner Gregg Medeiros are ready to serve up O’Fallon
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – The wait is over. Sugarfire Smoke House has opened its O’Fallon location for business and the barbecue is selling quickly.

The Sugarfire brand is expanding rapidly around the region and the country. The O’Fallon location, known as Sugarfire 64, is the ninth location for the St. Louis based chain. Their eighth store, located in Indianapolis, just opened two weeks ago, and there are plans for a massive expansion in Colorado. For Sugarfire 64 owner Gregg Medeiros, who partnered with Sugarfire founder Mike Johnson in the O’Fallon location, he believes the success of the brand is tied to the unique experience his patrons receive.

To read the full article, pick up a copof this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper. 

Gander Mountain to return to O’Fallon in new location

O’FALLON – Gander Mountain may be making a comeback to O’Fallon soon, but not in the same location as before.

Sources at City Hall have told the Weekly that Gander Outdoors, as it has been re-branded following its purchase by parent company Camping World, is coming back to O’Fallon but will build a new location on Central Park Drive on other land the company owns.

To read the full article, pick up a copof this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper.

Gander Mountain to reopen as Gander Outdoors

The O’Fallon Gander Mountain store opened in May 2015 at 120 Central Park Drive. While it has sat unused since the company declared bankruptcy and was bought by Camping World Holdings Inc., it will reopen in June as Gander Outdoors.
Pictured are Gander Mountain and City of O’Fallon officials at the 2015 ribbon cutting ceremony. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Gander Mountain will reopen as Gander Outdoors later this year, according to an announcement made by CEO Marcus Lemonis on January 2.

The 61,000-square foot store located on Central Park Drive originally opened in May 2015. While the store’s future has been in question following Gander Mountain’s bankruptcy and acquisition by Camping World Holdings Inc., it is now expected to reopen in June, rebranded as Gander Outdoors.

To read the full article, pick up a copy (xof this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here (x) for the digital edition. Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page (x) to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper. 

Local fitness volunteers take a Rock Steady swing at Parkinson’s Disease

BY LEE YOUNGBLOOD
WEEKLY REPORTER

Deborah Belsheim and her father Don Thomas, whose diagnosis inspired her to bring Rock Steady Boxing to O’Fallon. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Lee
Youngblood)

With the arrival of St. Elizabeth Hospital to O’Fallon and Memorial Hospital to Shiloh; the anticipation of a Regional Veterans’ Clinic and a Siteman Cancer Center it is clear that this south eastern pocket of the Metro East has its eye on human health and longevity of quality of life. Rock Steady Boxing hosted at C-1 Fitness on Highway 50, is in-step with that goal.

To read the full article, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition. Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper. 

 

Dewey’s Pizza begins serving it up, one pie at a time

Diners can get a show along with their dinner, thanks to the large window giving a view of the kitchen and the pizza makers tossing dough in the air. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Pizza connoisseurs now have a new place to try in O’Fallon.

Dewey’s Pizza has opened their 25th location on Regency Park Drive, across from the Regency Center. But just because they’re a small chain doesn’t mean you should expect sub-par food.

To read the full article and view more photos, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition. Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper. 

New ownership re-opens the Medicine Shoppe downtown

The Medicine Shoppe crew, from left: Lydia Weidner, Jackie Howell and Ashley Pfleger (Submitted Photo)

Earlier this month, O’Fallon regained a hometown pharmacy. Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy has reopened under new ownership in the same location where retired pharmacist Sam Aldeman opened nearly 35 years ago.

Pharmacist and owner Jackie Howell has spent nearly 30 years serving the Metro East community, and says opening her own pharmacy has been a long-time dream.

To read the full article, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition. Wish to receive the paper weekly? Go to our Subscription Page to find out rates and how you can subscribe to our weekly paper.