Shiloh, Chamber of Commerce welcomes newly elected officials

By Annabelle Knef

SHILOH – At the Shiloh Village Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Mayor Jim Vernier swore in new and returning trustees to the board. 

Julia Warchol was sworn in at the May 6 meeting, taking the seat previously held by Colleen Powers, who retired her position. Trustee Kurt Burrelsman was also sworn in for an additional term. Trustee Greg O’Neil was sworn in on May 2, as he was unable to attend the Monday meeting. He attended the meeting electronically. 

The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce president Sid LeGrand spoke to trustees at the May 6 meeting.

“We are grateful to the elected officials that retired, your job is a tough one. And we are grateful to and welcome the new elected officials on the board, LeGrand said. “This is a great community. We are fortunate to have you a part of the Chamber.”

“We have some great participation from Shiloh,” he said. “Thank you very much for being a part of the Chamber and thank you to Mayor Vernier. If there is anything we as a Chamber can do, feel free to let us know.” 

In other action at the Monday meeting, trustees authorized Mayor Vernier to sign the asset purchase agreement between the Village of Shiloh and Illinois American Water Company. 

Trustees agreed in a majority vote to break the partnership with Buxton Company, the economic development firm that represented the Village for the past year. 

Trustees authorized a $37,840 TIF A fund allocation for the resurfacing of the Three Springs Park tennis court. 

“These courts have not been touched since they were constructed over 13 to 14 years ago,” Village administrator John Marquart said. “It’s long overdue.”

23-year-old becomes newest Shiloh trustee

By Annabelle Knef

SHILOH – A resident of the Village of Shiloh her entire life, Julia Warchol is ready to give back to her community by serving as trustee. 

At 23 years old, Warchol said she feels that assuming her position so young is an accomplishment for her generation. 

“It’s time for my generation to give back to the community and get involved,” she said. “It is an honor to serve our community.”

Warchol’s family has lived in Shiloh for more than 100 years. Her mom, Tina Wrzek, has been a trustee since Warchol was 13-years-old. Upon being sworn in at the Shiloh Board meeting on May 7, Warchol will serve as trustee alongside her mom. 

“Living here my whole life, I’ve had the opportunity to watch Shiloh grow and develop into what it is today,” she said. “One day, I plan on raising my family here and I would like to be a part of the day- to- day activities in the community.” 

As she takes her seat as trustee, Warchol said she most looks forward to being a part of the decision making process for the future of Shiloh. 

“My biggest goal is to help ensure financial stability so that community funds get distributed appropriately to the areas we need to secure the future of Shiloh for generations to come,” she said. 

Warchol said she would also like to see improvements in Shiloh parks. 

“Recreation is what brings families together and connects our community to its citizens,” she said. 

Warchol said local government is important because it is where people have the most influence. “It’s where decisions about schools, roads and police departments are made.” 

Warchol said that Shiloh, despite its growth and expansion, “still has a small hometown feel.” 

“You can’t walk into the gas station without seeing at least one person you know,” she said. 

Warchol also spoke on Shiloh’s “outstanding” school district, Shiloh District 85. “The school and its faculty and staff go above and beyond for the students.” 

Warchol has been married for four years this November and will graduate with an Associates in Paralegal Studies later this month. She is currently a Bankruptcy Paralegal at JD Graham, PC.

Shiloh residential burglary suspects arrested

Richard Ely

SHILOH – On Friday, April 19th, 2019, the Shiloh Police took a report of a theft from an elderly female. The victim stated a female subject made contact with her at her home and asked for a glass of water. The victim began to retrieve the glass of water and while doing so, the female subject entered her home without permission. A male subject entered her home without permission as well and began walking around her home, entering multiple rooms of the home. The victim advised the subjects they needed to leave and they did so. The victim then noticed U.S. currency and jewelry missing. The victim provided physical descriptions of the suspects and their vehicle. An investigation was conducted and the suspects were taken into custody by the Collinsville Police Department. This case was submitted to the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.

Diana George

On Friday, May 3rd, 2019, Assistant State’s Attorney Elizabeth Nester issued warrant #19CF0067601 for Residential Burglary, a Class 1 Felony, and #19CM0001278 for Theft, a Class A Misdemeanor, charging Richard Ely of the 1000 block of Richland Street, Upland, California with the above crimes. Assistant State’s Attorney Elizabeth Nester also issued warrant #19CF0067501 for Residential Burglary a Class 1 Felony, and #19CM0001277 for Theft, a Class A Misdemeanor, charging Diana George of the 3000 block of Centralia Street, Lakewood, California with the above crimes.

The warrant was reviewed by St. Clair County Judge John O’Gara who set Ely and George’s bond at $100,000. Ely and George are currently in custody at the Madison County Jail for want of bond.

*All persons are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

County Board approves ownership change of Shiloh Valley Township Road

By Pam Funk

BELLEVILLE – At their April 29, 2019 Board Meeting, the St. Clair County Board unanimously approved a resolution allowing Shiloh Valley Township Road, from Rieder Road to the beginning of the State of Illinois maintenance, to be transferred to the St. Clair County Highway system from the O’Fallon Road District.  

The County will pay O’Fallon Road District $40,000 for the roadway.  The transfer was unanimously approved by the St. Clair County Board and will facilitate the free flow of traffic and insure safety to the motoring public.  

Currently, this segment of road is rural in nature and not designed for large trucks or major traffic.  St. Clair County approved the plans for Bobcat to build a new facility in this area and the City of O’Fallon is actively working to market the northern acreage for light industrial/warehousing uses.  Improvements to this road will greatly enhance the marketability of this entire area.

In other news…

• The Board approved an ordinance establishing civil fees and criminal and traffic assessments to be charged by the Circuit Clerk.  The Illinois General Assembly passed comprehensive legislation in 2018, which completely overhauled the criminal, traffic and civil fee structures in the circuit courts throughout the State of Illinois.  The purpose of the legislation was to consolidate fees into unified schedules for all counties, to realign fees to be constitutional, and to provide for fee waivers for low income individuals.  

The St. Clair County Board was required to update their fee ordinance in order to comply with the new law.  The new fees will go into effect July 1, 2019.

• The Board also unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the County Board Chairman to submit a letter of notification to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for reallocation of Community Block Grant (CDBG) Program Years 2015-2019 goals/funds.  The reallocation reduced Demolition from 50 to 0 and Economic Development from 10 to 0.  The reduction in those goals allowed for additional public infrastructure and public service projects throughout the County.

• The Board authorized the County to enter into litigation with the City of East St. Louis regarding the operation of Cencom West.  Cencom West is an entity of the St. Clair County Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) and provides police and fire dispatching services for the City of East St. Louis.  Currently, the money owed to Cencom is around $210,000.

The ETSB is an agency of St. Clair County.  While the ETSB has the authority to enter into intergovernmental agreements and contracts, such as the one with the City of East St. Louis, the Board doesn’t have the power to litigate.  The County Board must initiate litigation on behalf of the ETSB. 

18th annual Shiloh School District Art Show to take place May 3

The 18th Annual Shiloh School District Art Show at will be held on Friday, May 3 at Shiloh Middle School. 

The Art Show will begin at 6:30 p.m. and continue until 8:30 p.m. Art teacher Linda Johnson puts together the annual Shiloh art shows. 

“The halls of Shiloh Middle School will be filled with the creative endeavors of all the students in the Shiloh School District,” Linda Johnson said. 

The art gallery will feature work created in the art classes throughout the year. Every art student in the Shiloh School District will have at least one artwork in the show. 

Early childhood classes through the eighth grade have all contributed to the displays. 

“We have two-dimensional works as well as three dimensional sculptures,” Johnson said. “The students have drawn, painted, colored and sculpted creations that will make anyone proud of their accomplishments.” 

The walls of the middle school will feature over 1000 original art pieces from Shiloh students. 

In addition to the students’ work that will be featured, the art show will host a creative environment for children of all ages and adults to make and take art home. 

The art creative stations will feature activities such as flying dragons, inflatable bubble, stamping patterns, Native American rubbings, VIP name tag design, building blocks, airplane design, animal mask and origami fortune tellers.

Participants can make as may art activities as they would like, according to Johnson. “Each station has easy to follow directions to assist in the creation.”

 These interactive stations will be in the Shiloh Middle School cafeteria. 

“This part of the art show has been a favorite of students,” Johnson said. “They remember the activities year after year and look forward to creating these special activities during the show.” 

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. 

Shiloh hosts Easter Breakfast

The Easter Bunny visited the Village of Shiloh on Saturday, April 13, for the village’s Easter breakfast.

The event featured food, arts and crafts, games, and a visit by the Easter Bunny for photos and goodies. 

“This was a great event that allowed the community to come together for a fun time. The police officers really enjoyed spending time with residents, especially the kids,” said Village Clerk Brenda Kern. 

(Submitted Photos)

Shiloh 85 recognizes student award winners, discusses status of nonprofit foundation

Shiloh Elementary principal Tiana Montgomery recognized Noah Yates and Audianna Washington as Young Author award winners.(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef)

SHILOH – At the Shiloh District 85 meeting on Monday, April 15, Shiloh school administration recognized young authors, a racial harmony recipient and a finalist for the state science fair. 

Shiloh Elementary principal Tiana Montgomery recognized students Noah Yates and Audianna Washington for being Young Author winners. Student Kylie Sullivan was also recognized as a Young Author but was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting. 

Montgomery said they had the opportunity to go to this year’s Young Author Conference at Westhaven Elementary School on April 6. 

“They had a different format this year. They called each student by name — it was almost like a graduation,” Montgomery said. 

The conference theme this year was “Wild About Writing.” Each student had a book that revolved around the theme. 

“We’re very proud of their accomplishments and for being able to participate in this year’s Young Author Conference,” she said. 

SMS principal Darin Loepker recognized seventh grader Mckenzie Ballinger for her accomplishment as a Young Author winner and eighth grader Bella Durbin for being selected as the Illinois Principal Association (IPA) Middle School Student of the Year. 

Loepker said Durbin is a level headed and intelligent student. 

“I’ll always remember her leadership in the building, she leads by example,” Loepker said.  

Jalen Smith, a Shiloh Middle School student, was recognized as a Racial Harmony recipient.(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef)

Loepker then recognized student Jalen Smith as a Racial Harmony recipient. 

“Jalen is such a wonderful student and a leader in the building. He is one of the most well adjusted young men that I have ever had in school,” he said. “He is one of the most responsible boys I have ever had.”

Loepker finally recognized student William “Liam” Caraway, who is a finalist for the state science fair. 

Loepker said Caraway put a lot of time and effort into his project, which is about how age affects perception of others. 

“Liam, we are very proud of you,” Loepker said. 

Board member Ken Davis spoke at the Monday meeting on the status of District 85 becoming a fully functioning non-profit foundation. 

Davis said on April 5, Shiloh District 85 received a letter from the IRS designating the district as a public charity and non-profit. 

“All of us in this room as educators and board members, we want to provide the best educational opportunity for all of our students,” Davis said. “We do that because we love our jobs, we love what we do and we love the kids in this district.”

“This is an opportunity to reach out into the community and to really become partners in supporting education. I can sit here and talk about the budgets we get from the state and how inadequate that is — we have community members that really want to be a part of this and donate to education in our community.”

Davis said the foundation board is now in the process of setting up its first organizational meeting. After that, he said the board will get out to canvas the community and talk to businesses to gain their support. 

“I really encourage that we can make this work for every one in this system — the teachers, staff and kids in this district to be able to provide them with opportunity we all know they can have,” he said. “This was a labor of love. I’m just excited to be able to set up this foundation and have it be a generational opportunity for everyone in this system.” 

Sauer said the district will be able to save close to $10,000 in electrical lighting for the next year due to a partnership with Ameren and a federally funded grant. 

Lights in both school libraries, cafeterias, hallways and parking lots will be replaced with stronger LED lights. 

“It will be certainly be done by the next school year,” Sauer said.

Area churches host Easter Egg hunts

Two area churches held Easter Egg hunts on Saturday, April 13.

The first was held at Crossview Church, and was co-sponsored by Schnucks and First National Bank of Waterloo. The Easter Bunny was on hand, along with a bounce house, and the O’Fallon Fire Department. 

The second event was held at Shiloh United Methodist Church and featured a variety of games, activities, and food in addition to the indoor egg hunt. 

Crossview Church Easter Egg Hunt (O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)

Shiloh United Methodist Church Easter Egg Hunt (O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)

Shiloh Middle School Drama Club presents “Death by Dessert”

SHILOH – Shiloh Middle School Drama Club presented Death by Dessert to a packed audience on Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. 

Death by Dessert was directed by Leigh Meyer and the cast consisted of students from Shiloh Middle School and the elementary school. 

In New York’s Little Italy, the Duccedonni family have been feuding for a generation, while operating two competing Italian restaurants that share a common wall. The landlord was found dead at center stage, and everyone was a suspect from the old-world Italian business woman and mafia mobster, to the chefs and bumbling wait staff. 

Flashing back in time, the story was told by its victim, who alternately narrated and participated in the action. The audience was able to decide who they think poisoned the landlord, then drop their votes in the correct ballot buckets at intermission. 

O’Fallon Weekly photos by Annabelle Knef

Easter eggs rain from the sky

SHILOH – Adding a new twist to the classic Easter egg hunt, Cornerstone Christian Church hosted its “Hop and Drop” event on Saturday, April 6 with over a thousand kids in attendance at two locations. 

On Saturday morning, helicopters dropped Easter eggs for children up to age 11 at both the church’s Shiloh location along North Green Mount Road and O’Fallon Community Park. 

Bounce houses, a petting zoo, giveaways and games were present at both locations. There were also food trucks on site with items for sale. 

O’Fallon Weekly photos by Annabelle Knef

Local districts discuss school safety and active shooters at second board academy session

O’Fallon Police Captain Jim Cavins spoke about the department’s involvement within the schools to the assembled board members at the second board academy session.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef)

O’FALLON – School board members, superintendents and board candidates from local districts gathered at the O’Fallon Public Safety building to discuss school safety and security with law enforcement. 

The second School Board Academy session took place on Tuesday, March 26 and included representatives from District 90, District 203, District 85 and District 104. The O’Fallon Police Department spoke to those gathered about the importance of school security in today’s national climate. 

Captain Jim Cavins first spoke at the session about the O’Fallon P.D. and its involvement within the community and schools. Cavins pointed out the mission statement: “The O’Fallon Police Department is dedicated to proactively solving problems and protecting life and property through education, prevention and enforcement.  In striving to accomplish this mission, service to community is our commitment; honor and integrity our mandate.” 

Cavins then gave general information on the police department and its divisions, programs and organizations. 

O’Fallon Township High School School Resource Officer (SRO) Brian Riggar then spoke to board academy attendees about school safety and intruder defense training. 

Riggar is an officer assigned full time to District 203 throughout the school year. He is responsible for promoting positive relationships between O’Fallon P.D. and the students, parents and staff of the high school.

 A SRO’s responsibility is to assist the professional staff with the safety of students and staff, and also to evaluate the security of the facilities. 

Riggar said the elements of the intruder defense training is: Educate, Evade, Escape and Engage. 

“This is what we teach to all schools — every school district in O’Fallon,” Riggar said.

The intruder defense training or — active shooter training — is necessary due to the steady incline of school shooters since the year 2000, Riggar said. 

Riggar said the instructional training is “not preventative, it’s saving lives.” “The goal is to save as many as we can.” 

The average response time from a police department to a school with an active shooter is three minutes, Riggar said. 

In an active shooter scenario, Riggar said your body will do one of three things: fight, flight or freeze.

Because of this, Riggar said the school community needs to be involved in training. 

Training in schools involves a powerpoint presentation for staff and then the police department will run drills recreating an active shooter scenario. 

While school lockdowns were mostly used in past active shooter situations, “it’s time to do something else, either flee or engage,” Riggar said. 

Riggar said active shooter training can be applied to multiple places like the movie theatre, restaurants, church and businesses. 

Riggar said if a staff member were to disarm an active shooter to place the weapon in a garbage can. 

According to Riggar, none of the four E’s: Educate, Evade, Escape and Engage— are more important than the other. 

Dr. Darcy Benway, OTHS District 203 superintendent, said she thinks it’s important for board members to participate in the active shooter training if they are able to. 

“I think it’s very important for board members to participate because you are a vulnerable population when you are sitting in front of the public — sometimes board members have to make very difficult situations,” Benway said. “The public can become very angry.”

Benway referenced the Kirkwood City Council shooting that took place approximately 10 years ago that left six people dead. 

“It’s important that you start training your frame of mind as a board member,” she said. “Where are you going to go should someone come to a board meeting with the intent to do harm.”

Shiloh partners with Scott Air Base to improve water quality

SHILOH – At the Shiloh Village Board of Trustees on Monday, Mayor Jim Vernier was authorized to sign the lower silver creek watershed memorandum of understanding. 

The memorandum of understanding is a partnership between the Village of Shiloh and Scott Air Force Base to work together to encourage voluntary improvements to improve water quality and implement stormwater management practices. 

Shiloh trustees authorized Vernier to sign the voluntary memorandum of understanding. 

Trustees then authorized Vernier to sign the Yorktown Golf Course management agreement amendment for the 2018-19 contract. The contract will increase from $99,700 per year to $110,000. 

Trustees authorized Vernier to sign an agreement for highway construction and maintenance between the Village and St. Clair County for Shiloh Station Road sidewalks and for the bike path adjacent to Engelmann Farm Park.

The agreement is also for the streets in phases six, seven and eight of the Villages at Wingate Subdivision for maintenance. 

Vernier also approved improvements to South Second Street and East Street in Shiloh.

Shiloh District 85 to get nonprofit foundation board, amends 2019 school schedule

SHILOH – At the Shiloh District 85 meeting on Monday, board member Ken Davis announced that Shiloh Village School is now a fully functioning nonprofit foundation. 

“I’ve been working on this foundation since August of last year,” Davis said. “I finally submitted paperwork to the IRS.” 

While the status of the paperwork was disrupted by the recent government shutdown according to Davis, he made a phone call on the morning of March 18 and the school’s paperwork was approved. 

“They will be getting the notice out to us within the next two weeks,” he said. “We have been approved by the state of Illinois as a full blown charity. We have been approved at every level.” 

Davis said there are already many volunteers wanting to sit on the foundation board and put together an organizational meeting. 

“As soon as we can get that done we are ready to go,” Davis said. “We will start doing some work for kids and filling the gaps to raise money to augment what the district provides.” 

“It’s an opportunity for us to really get some great things done for the kids in our district,” he said. “We will be calling on the union and teachers to be a part of this. Everybody should be at the table participating in this — it’s been a while coming.” 

Shiloh Elementary School principal Tiana Montgomery said the recent book fair at the school raised funds of $4,714. 

“This book fair put approximately 945 books into the hands of students including approximately 170,100 volunteer reading minutes for the kids,” Montgomery said. “Not only are we trying to get extra funding for our library — book fairs promote reading.” 

Scholastic dollars earned from the book fair were approximately $3,580. Shiloh teachers will be able to utilize these funds. 

According to Montgomery, kindergarten information night will take place on Thursday, April 4, in the Shiloh Elementary School cafeteria. 

The night is open to all parents who have children that will be five years old before September 1, 2019. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with teachers, tour the building including the kindergarten classrooms, set up your child’s screening appointment for April 23, 2019 and learn various information about the district’s kindergarten program. Parents will also be asked to fill out pre-registration forms for the 2019-20 school year. 

Developmental screenings for kindergarten will take place April 23 and April 24 in the Shiloh Elementary library and screening for preschool aged children will take place on Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26 in Klucker Hall in Shiloh. 

Children will be screened for vision, motor coordination, hearing, speech, concept formation and language. Parents can make appointments for their children beginning April 1. To schedule, contact the elementary school office at 618-632-7434. 

In other action at the Monday meeting, superintendent Dale Sauer discussed an issue with the 2019 calendar. 

Sauer said the four local school districts originally agreed to take off Wednesday before Easter (April 17) rather than Easter Monday (April 22) due to a “one time oddity” that has to do with the timing of SAT testing at O’Fallon Township High School.

State testing for OTHS will take place on Tuesday, April 23. “That means kids go back on Easter Monday and come back to take the test, which is very difficult for them to get logistics done,” Sauer said. 

“They asked all the districts if we would take off Easter Wednesday with them and go to school Easter Monday,” he said. “Originally, all four districts were supportive of that.”

“In talking with our union, they very much understand the issue with the high school and are supportive of that but still would like us to take Easter Monday off in stead of Wednesday,” Sauer said.

Sauer said Central 104 has already approved to be off on Wednesday and not Monday, whereas District 90 has approved to be off Monday and not Wednesday. 

“As far as logistics, it really doesn’t hurt us one way or another. We tried to do something in alignment with those schools but we have a staff who even though are sympathetic would like to still consider taking Easter Monday off.”

The board chose to approve the 2019 calendar to go to school on Wednesday, April 17 and have off Monday, April 22. 

The board approved the Shiloh Middle School Graduation Date of Thursday, May 23, 2019.

Shiloh trustees discuss status of commercial development

Dennis Maher, director of sales for Fort Worth, Texas- based Buxton Co., spoke to trustees about the status of economic and commercial development in the Village.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef)

SHILOH – At the Shiloh Committee at Large meeting, Dennis Maher, director of sales for Fort Worth, Texas- based Buxton Co., spoke to trustees about the status of economic and commercial development in the Village. 

The Village of Shiloh entered into an approximate $50,000 per year contractual agreement with Buxton in June of 2018. While Buxton is known as one of the largest aggregators of consumer analytics in the nation, trustees expressed frustration at the March 25 meeting that the company has not done enough to meet the needs for the community. 

Maher said since Buxton has begun representing Shiloh, they have performed analysis identifying which retailers would be willing to locate within the market and have made the “initial outreach to those retailers.” 

Maher spoke of the importance of trying to touch base with potential retailers on a weekly basis. “Just to be that squeaky wheel and get in front of them to try and engage in those conversations.” 

“I think implementation wise and outreach, we can definitely strengthen on,” Maher said. “We will do that together, whether it’s looking for additional contacts, new contacts — but creating a better system in that outreach.” 

“I think overall with the evaluation we have done is great,” he said. “Retail recruitment overall takes time, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. On our end, we would ask for patience.” 

Maher said representatives from Buxton are communicating with Village administrator John Marquart bi-weekly. 

When asked by trustee Colleen Powers if the Village has heard feedback from Costco, Marquart said they have not heard whether the business would be willing to locate in Shiloh. 

Trustee Mark Herrmann brought up the discussion of the retail market and what its status will be 10 to 15 years down the line. 

“Are we going to be buying stuff from Amazon?” Herrmann asked the board. “Are these stores going to want to put up more brick and mortars?”

Herrmann said the Village may need to get ahead of the curve and see what would still be here in 10 years. 

“When we’re looking at retail, we are looking at healthy retail,” Maher said. “We are looking at the experience you cannot get online.” 

Maher said healthy retail could look like sit- down farm to table dining concepts or a trampoline park. “We will always have to go buy goods and services from somewhere.” 

Trustee Greg O’Neil said in the last nine months of the contract agreement with Buxton, himself and other trustees have not been updated on the status of incoming commercial development. 

“In this whole process we have been doing this, nine months, unless I missed something — I’ve never been updated that these guys have done anything for us. Up until now, you don’t even exist to us,” O’Neil said. 

Mayor Jim Vernier said attracting retailers right now in the current climate “is very difficult.” He said he understands if retailers aren’t responding to Buxton, but the Village needs more transparency on what is being done in the process to attract businesses. 

“$50,000 a year is a lot of money,” Vernier said.  

Maher expressed to the board of trustees that increased correspondence will take place and that analytics and informational reports will be shared on the process of attracting commercial developments. 

With the incoming informational report from Buxton, trustees will continue discussion of the partnership at the next meeting board meeting on April 1. The board will take action on the Buxton Company contract renewal at the May 6 board meeting.

Vernier then discussed with the board the status of 3429 Langford Drive home in the Ashford Farms subdivision. 

The home, visible from Green Mount Road, caught fire and burned in May of 2018, according to Vernier. 

Vernier said a fire investigation is currently in federal court and the owner of the house is also seeking approval to have it fixed or demolished. 

“Neighbors have been looking at it for a year,” Vernier said. “I don’t like driving by it and looking at it on Green Mount Road. Those people all have very beautiful homes and they pay a lot of taxes for them. They shouldn’t have to look at it.”

“I understand it is in court and the homeowner is trying to do what he can. That doesn’t do the neighbors any justice,” he said. “This could be in court for years.”

Vernier said the Village of Shiloh has condemnation rights — he then asked the board to authorize the Village attorney, Terry Bruckert, to authorize the condemnation of the property. 

“I think we pursue it and seek recovery of costs from either the owner or bank that financed it,” he said. “We are showing the neighbors that we are concerned about it.”

“Once we serve the copy of the condemnation, he has 30 days to respond.” The motion passed with trustees authorizing Bruckert to pursue condemnation of 3429 Langford Drive. 

Trustees then authorized the Village to enter into a partnership with Scott Air Force Base to work together to develop the Lower Silver Creek Watershed Plan. 

The plan is not mandatory, but to encourage voluntary improvements to improve water quality, implement stormwater management practices and work collectively to achieve the goals of the plan. It’s overall goal is commitment to promote a healthy environment within the community. 

“Just to be good neighbors is a reason for us to approve of it,” Vernier said. The motion passed.