Council gives preliminary approval to development plan

Police Chief Eric Van Hook announced some promotions in the department. Pictured, from left, is Van Hook, Mark Berry who recently retired for a job at District 90, Kirk Brueggeman who was promoted to Captain from Lieutenant, David Matevey who was promoted to Lieutenant from Sergeant, and Eric Buck who was promoted to Sergeant from Officer. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Police Chief Eric Van Hook announced some promotions in the department. Pictured, from left, is Van Hook, Mark Berry who recently retired for a job at District 90, Kirk Brueggeman who was promoted to Captain from Lieutenant, David Matevey who was promoted to Lieutenant from Sergeant, and Eric Buck who was promoted to Sergeant from Officer. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – A plan to develop the Downtown area and add multiple new soccer and baseball fields to the O’Fallon Sports Park received preliminary approval Monday night at the City Council meeting.

The council voted 11-2 to approve the plan on first reading. Aldermen Herb Roach and Robert Kueker voted “no”, both expressing their view that money raised through a hotel/motel tax increase could be used on other needs within O’Fallon. Alderman Kevin Hagarty was not present at the meeting.

Numerous residents and out of town guests spoke during the public comment section of the meeting to promote the plan. They all expressed how much the increased development at the Sports Park would bring an economic windfall to the city. However, some residents also spoke out against the plan, stating there were other areas, such as stormwater drainage issues and sewers that needed to be addressed before the Sports Park.

O’Fallon Mayor Gary Graham said he has no problems enhancing the city’s parks as he believes it is a good investment for taxpayers.

“There are only two cities in our area right now where developers are building houses, Edwardsville and O’Fallon. And what do we have in common? Quality parks,” Graham said.

Many of the aldermen spoke highly of the project and said they were enthusiastic to vote for it. The proposal will still need to be approved upon second reading at the council’s November 21 meeting.

In other business…

Chris Hursey was sworn in as the new Ward 5 Alderman. Mike Bennett left the seat 44 days ago. Hursey, 27, said he looks forward to bringing new ideas and a fresh perspective to the council. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Chris Hursey was sworn in as the new Ward 5 Alderman. Mike Bennett left the seat 44 days ago. Hursey, 27, said he looks forward to bringing new ideas and a fresh perspective to the council.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

  • Chris Hursey was appointed to fill the vacancy of Ward 5 Alderman, created after Mike Bennett stepped down from the council 44 days ago. Hursey is a lifelong resident of O’Fallon and said he looks forward to serving the people of his ward and city.
  • The mayor proclaimed November 7, 2016, as Amelia Carriel Junior High Cross Country Day in honor of the team’s outstanding accomplishments winning at state.
  • The council approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to execute a Preliminary Engineering Services Agreement for Motor Fuel Tax funds with Lochmueller Group in the amount of $9,700. The money will be used for land acquisition required prior to the construction of the roundabout at Milburn School Road and Old Collinsville Road.
  • The council also approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to execute an agreement with Horner & Shifrin, Inc., related to the North Green Mount project worth $368,793.79. Per IDOT requirements, during the construction of the North Green Mount Road project there will be a need for construction engineering services to include inspection, material testing and staking. These requirements will be fulfilled with the execution of this agreement with Horner & Shifrin, Inc.
  • Finally, the council approved a resolution granting the mayor permission to execute an agreement with Baxmeyer Construction, Inc. for the North Green Mount Road Widening Project in an amount not to exceed $2,965,950.63. Due to increased traffic on North Green Mount Road between Highway 50 and Regency Park/Pierce and development along this corridor the City plans to widen this section of roadway. Rather than a typical five-lane road the current plan is to construct a boulevard which has two northbound and two southbound lanes with a dividing island. This project is 50-percent funded through a State of Illinois Economic Development Program Grant.