Shiloh Board to hear from residents about sewer sale

SHILOH – The Shiloh Village Board is setting aside time to hear citizen comments regarding their plan to possibly sell a portion of the Village’s sanitary sewer system. 

The board will receive citizen comments on Monday, October 22, 2018, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building from interested citizens.  

All interested parties can make comments to the Board in person, or submit written comments to John Marquart, Village Administrator. Comments can be sent to Marquart at 1 Park Drive, Shiloh, Illinois  62269 or via email at: jmarquart@shilohil.org by October 19, 2018.

Shiloh exploring sale of sewer system

By Nick Miller

SHILOH – Following their return from executive session at their regular monthly meeting, the Shiloh Village Board unanimously approved a measure calling for the village to put out notice that they are accepting proposals to sell their sewer system. Mayor Jim Vernier said the system the village is looking to divest itself from is the smallest in town.

“We have a small system with 1,200 customers. Its just the old part of Shiloh here. We’ve had some interest in it and it’s not like we’d be selling the entire community. The southern half is served by Belleville, St. Clair Township serves a big half. Caseyville Township serves all of the Dierberg’s area. The system we’re proposing to sell has the least amount of customers out of all of the systems,” Vernier said.

Vernier indicated a few times that the village has had interest expressed in the system and they are considering unloading it so they could reallocate manpower to other village needs.

The mayor did indicate no employees will be losing their jobs with the village if a sale comes to pass.

“We’re going to wait and see what comes of it. I don’t see it being controversial like the proposal in O’Fallon. We’re keeping all of our employees. We don’t have that many to begin with. One works a few hours a day on the sewer system. We’ll just reallocate his time,” Vernier said.

St. Louis Bread Co. drive-thru proposal receives green light from Shiloh trustees

SHILOH – A drive-thru for the Shiloh location of St. Louis Bread Company got an official green light from the Shiloh Board of Trustees. The variance approval to eliminate six parking spaces to make way for the drive-thru was unanimous.

Parking at the 3120 Green Mount Crossing Drive location will drop from 104 to 98, and the dedicated loading space will be eliminated to make way for the 375 square foot building addition. The drive-thru will have a prep line and staff separate from the eat in and carry out portion of the restaurant to allow for faster service for all patrons.

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Shiloh Bread Co. will cut parking to make way for new drive-thru

In the drawings submitted to the Village by Panera Bread, parking spaces will be cut from 104 to 98, and there would be a 375 square foot addition onto the already 4,990 square foot building. The outdoor dining area could be eliminated to make room for more parking if the drive-thru is fully approved. (Submitted Photo)

The Green Mount Crossing Bread Company location could soon have a drive-thru. After variance requests passed the Shiloh Planning Commission unanimously, the Shiloh Committee at Large also unanimously voted to keep the project moving forward. Panera, the parent company of Bread Company, is asking Shiloh for a variance from Shiloh code due to having to lower the parking, and elimination of the dedicated loading space.

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Hartman Lakes adjusts variance requests, receives approval from Shiloh Village Board

Boy Scout Sean Turner asked Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier about proper zoning for planting in his neighborhood. Turner, a member of Shiloh Pack 40, hopes to grow pomegranates. Coming to the meeting was part of his attempt to ultimately earn his Life Scout Rank. Pictured is Turner with Mayor Vernier. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

The proposed Hartman Lakes project was given approval at Shiloh’s December board meeting. After last week’s Committee at Large meeting, Village Administrator John Marquardt worked with the developers to bring their requests closer to Shiloh’s code, as well as add in some other safety variables.

Greenmount Retail Center, LLC has been working on bringing the project back to fruition. The multi-family apartment complex that will sit on just over 55 acres at the corner of Hartman and Thouvenot Lanes has been the subject of heated discussions ranging from buffering to materials.

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Savannah project given initial approval for TIF reimbursement

Attorney Ernesto Segura of Husch Blackwell discusses why the TIF will not negatively impact Shiloh schools (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

The Shiloh Village Board gave initial approval for TIF funding assistance to The Savannah developers at their November Committee at Large meeting.

Village Attorney Terry Bruckert called it a “reimbursement” of the cost of putting in a traffic signal at Tamarack Lane and Cross Street. Developer Crevo Capital representatives and their attorney, Ernesto Segura of Husch Blackwell, were on hand for the contentious discussion.

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Shiloh Board receives presentation from special Air Force guest

SHILOH – Shiloh Village Board welcomed special guest Colonel Ray Smith, Commander of the 932nd Operations Group, to their October board meeting. Col. Smith has been partnering with Village Administrator John Marquardt through a community and Scott Air Force Base collaboration project.

“At Scott Air Force Base,  Col. Laura Lenderman, previous commander of 375th initiated a program called the Honorary Commanders Program where various individuals from different communities team up with officials from the base and learn the missions of the base, and vice versa, those individuals learn things about our communities. Our commander is John Marquardt and his liaison is Col. Ray Smith with 932nd Wing Command. Ray is the Operations Group Commander and he’s in charge of the 73rd Airlift Squadron, the 932nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, the 932nd Operations Support Flight and the 12th Operations Weather Flight,” explained Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier.

Col. Smith explained that there are four total groups in the 932nd Unit, and those groups, like the one he commands, are then composed of squadrons and flights.

Smith’s group flies four C-40 airplanes, and he said “You guys live here, you’ve seen them. They’re the gorgeous blue and whites, and we take them everywhere.”

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Shiloh Trustees consider joining O’Fallon for waste management

SHILOH – Shiloh Village Trustees spoke at length during their Committee at Large meeting about whether or not to go out for bid with the city of O’Fallon for trash services. O’Fallon and Shiloh Village currently utilize different trash services and both contracts are about to end. Mayor Jim Vernier urged the trustees to consider the power of consolidated buying, and the fact that it usually brings about cheaper prices for residents.

Currently, recycling is optional under Shiloh’s contract with Republic Services.“There was an article in the Belleville News-Democrat that talked about different costs for trash services in local municipalities, and it said that Shiloh’s rate was $25.76 per month. That was inaccurate. Our rate is $10.78 per month for trash services only,” said Village Administrator John Marquardt.

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Shiloh to allow for backyard chickens

Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier awards former Shiloh Planning
Commission Member BJ Berger with a plaque thanking him for 15 years of service.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

SHILOH -At their regularly scheduled June board meeting, Shiloh Village Trustees unanimously approved an ordinance that would allow for backyard chickens.

The ordinance was modeled after surrounding communities in Southern Illinois, as well as the ordinance for backyard chickens in suburban Chicago. The ordinance is subject to regulation to ensure that residents are following it properly, including not owning roosters and keeping coops to the previously determined size of 20 total square feet, and sanitary conditions.

Shiloh residents will be limited to six chickens if they have less than one acre of property or twelve chickens if they have more than one acre.

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Shiloh Board unanimously votes to rezone Wilke property

Mayor Jim Vernier takes the oath of office to begin his fifth term. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

SHILOH – The Shiloh Village Board unanimously voted to approve an ordinance that approved the rezoning and replatting of 3090 Carlyle Avenue from NU (County) to B4 (Village). Several residents came to the meeting to present their opposition to the rezoning and replatting of the property owned by Norm Wilke.

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Wilke rezoning, backyard chickens tabled at Shiloh meeting

Shiloh trustees discuss whether or not to allow backyard chickens across all zoning types in Shiloh Village. The motion was tabled. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

SHILOH – The Shiloh Village Board tabled a request to rezone and replat 3090 Carlyle Avenue from NU (County) to B4 (Village). The property is owned by Shiloh resident Norman Wilke and the application for rezoning and replatting was submitted by Steve Wilke.

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Superintendent informs Village Board of Shiloh school district’s financial dire straits

Superintendent Dale Sauer gives a presentation to the Shiloh Village Board about the state of District 85. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

SHILOH – Shiloh District 85 Superintendent Dale Sauer made a presentation to the Shiloh board of trustees and Mayor Jim Vernier at their February board meeting. He presented statistics to the board, such as the district has a staggering 37 percent of students below the poverty line, but strives to help those students with programs such as Weekend Wildcats which sends home backpacks of food over the weekend.

Sauer spoke to the board about the district’s funding, which largely comes from local taxation. Sauer notes that local property owners are faithful at paying their taxes, and the district is thankful. The district has suffered a $1,262,324 loss in the last eight years due to proration of funding.

“We have critically low fund balances and are in very dire straits, to the point where we have done cost containment and reduction of staff by almost 12 percent over the last two years, and have been impacted by the disabled veterans property tax exemption, and yet Shiloh schools continue to offer great education,” Sauer said.

Sauer noted that he was hesitant to speak about the disabled property tax exemption, but did explain that the school would take a loss of 8.5 percent in Equalized Assessed Value, which equates to a loss of $287,000 for the schools. Sauer is working with state lawmakers on legislation that will help lessen the impact of the law, but still allow for it to remain intact.

“I’m from a military family, and I have kids in the military. Make no mistake- I’m in favor of veterans receiving all these privileges. They’ve richly earned them, they deserve them, and I think the exemption is a great idea. Unfortunately because of the way it’s implemented, Shiloh is disproportionately affected because of it’s proximity to Scott Air Force Base, and it’s a community that’s a destination place to retire. Who wouldn’t want to retire in Shiloh and O’Fallon? This legislation that helps disabled veterans actually hurts them, because it hurts the community they reside in. In my opinion, we’re all beneficiaries of the sacrifices of our disabled veterans, and we need to spread that impact out over perhaps our entire state,” Sauer said.

Sauer also discussed the County Schools Facility Sales tax, which would be a one percent sales tax, and he mentioned that 35 percent of all sales taxes collected in St. Clair County come from non-residents. The measure would give an extra $322,594 to Shiloh schools each year, and would be used for things like replacing HVAC units, water heaters, adding a pour and play playground to the elementary school, upkeep of parking lots and more. Using a sales tax would allow for trustees to avoid having to levy a higher tax burden on it’s residents through property taxes. The measure will be on the April 4 ballot.

On a happier note, Sauer also shared the district’s performance scores in PARCC testing, which were the highest in all of St. Clair County for the second year in a row. Along with excellent academics, Sauer highlighted the school’s commitment to service and their partnerships with area businesses like Cedarhurst.

In Other News:

  • A motion to spend $300,000 to begin updating the barn property for a cultural arts center was tabled. Though it was said during the meeting to be tabled for further investigation, Mayor Vernier said “We have some very exciting news coming out in the next couple of months that will make that development and its price tag more palatable. There’s also some design change aspects that could push it past April.”
  • Special events packets will now be amended to allow for more time for completion by Shiloh Village.
  • A measure passed to allow Vernier to sign the Three Springs Lake Trail additional storm water engineering proposal in the amount of $12,000. Though Trustee Kurtz, who was present via telephone, asked if there was not a more financially responsible way to work the proposal, it passed 4-1 with Kurtz as the sole “nay” vote. Trustee Tina Warchol was absent.
  • Vernier is also authorized to now sign the Yorktown lawn care containment engineering proposal in the amount of $11,880. The measure also passed in a 4-1 vote with Kurtz again voting “nay.”
  • The trustees unanimously voted to sign maintenance and construction agreements for Safe Route to School areas in the Central School District, as the Village owns part of the property. O’Fallon will also be pitching in for maintenance.

Cost of cultural center shocks Shiloh trustees

Mayor Jim Vernier debates spending $400,000 to create an up to snuff shell of the barn property with trustees Kurtz, Burrelsman and Powers. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

SHILOH – Shiloh trustees fervently debated sinking $400,000 into the old Barn property to get it ready for possible use as a center for the arts. The sum includes mold remediation and necessary demolition, a new roof, a new elevator, and more.

Gary Karasek of U-Studios, based in Swansea, had previously presented to the board the idea of turning the barn property into a cultural arts center that could feature different studios, hold functions such as parties or dance competitions, and possibly include an outdoor theater. Karasek had previously been granted village monies to seek bids for updating the barn.

Six bids were taken for mold remediation and interior demolition with the low bid of $48,700 coming from ServiceMaster based out of O’Fallon. Five bids were taken for replacing the roof, but the low bid differs based on materials. Millennium Construction had lowest overall bid with $254,769 for a metal roof and $189,769 for an asphalt shingle roof. Putting an elevator in the building is expected to cost over $50,000.

Karasek presented the merits of both options with trustee Kurt Burrelsman providing more insight on pros and cons for each material. “These would make it secure, make it so that it would continue to rain inside the building, and make sure the mold is gone, and now you’ve got a shell structure that you can begin to talk to tenants about,” said Village Administrator John Marquardt.

“The question is do we want to put this kind of money into this property? Gary’s project isn’t a given, and if we put this kind of money into it, I feel like we have to do something with that property,” Burrelsman said.

Gary Karasek, architect with U-Studios out of Swansea, presents the
bids for transforming the barn property to the Shiloh trustees.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

“Here’s my thoughts; This brings the building up, puts a roof on it. If we go this route, we can get to the next step where we can approach people about getting into the space. Yes, it’s going to cost more than $400,000 to get it fully functional. This is park funds, this is tourism funds that we’re going to propose to use for this building. The bottom line is, if the people aren’t there, we still have a very nice up to code building, and we’ve also invested into this neighborhood. That area’s on a big upswing,” Mayor Jim Vernier said. Vernier referenced a multimillion dollar apartment complex and a new subdivision that will be being built in the area.

“We also need a police station. I don’t see anything in front of me that tells me how this village can afford a $2 million dollar police station, put a half million dollars into this building, and not be able to use the building, and still somehow plan to make this building useable. I don’t see where this is a wise use of village dollars,” Trustee Mark Kurtz rebutted.

Burrelsman and Kurtz continued to discuss how much the building would cost the village over the years, including maintenance costs and more. Karasek confirmed, when asked by the trustees, that his current plan would be for Shiloh to foot the utility bill.

Trustee Bob Weilmuenster said he would rather see the building torn down and replaced with a new one. After much discussion, it was imagined that a 10,000 square foot space, fully outfitted for the cultural center, would cost upwards of $1.2 million, and make the project a little further out of reach. Vernier mentioned that a new building would also lack the character of the barn.

“I hope when you run for these positions and you get on our board, that you look not only for our bank account, but also for the growth of our community, the amenities that we’re willing to offer. This is going to be something totally unique. Am I happy about spending the money? No, I’m not, but I do see this as a catalyst,” Vernier said. He continued to mention the added revenue for local shops and restaurants with the flux of people visiting the cultural center.

Marquardt has secured a loan through Commerce Bank that would require biannual payments through the year 2024, and the grand total, with interest included, would be $445,652.90. the payments would come from the parks and tourism accounts.

Trustee Tina Warchol proposed spending $300,000 on upgrades for the building, and the vote was tied with trustees Warchol, Powers and Burrelsman voting yes, and trustees Kurtz, O’Neil and Weilmuenster voting no. Mayor Vernier broke the tie to move the measure forward to the February 4 board meeting.

The trustees and mayor voted in the same pattern to borrow the full $400,000 to have extra funds at the low interest rate of 2.95 percent in case the project runs over, or the village wants to use the funds elsewhere.

In Other News:

  • The trustees approved moving forward an amended special events permit application. Among the amendments are extra time, which gives the village 90 days to approve the packet. Village Clerk Brenda Kern said the amount of time was critical to allow for reservation of area parks, and also to allow village and state processing of liquor licenses, but noted that the village always tries to work with applicants if their event is sooner.
  • The board unanimously approved moving forward a final plat review for the Circle K gas station located at the corner of Thouvenot and Hartman Lane. The gas station, located on a five acre plot of property with room for other structures, has already been built. “This approval got caught up in the system. It’s unusual, but it does happen,” said Marquardt.
  • Central School District will get a Safe Route to School sidewalk that will extend a sidewalk from Hartman Lane to Joseph Arthur Middle School. The project will total $27,746.90, and the school district will be on the hook for any costs over that bid. The board will cast their final vote on February 4.
  • A second SRTS measure will be moved forward that sees Shiloh working in conjunction with O’Fallon and St. Clair County to maintain sidewalks in Central School District.
  • A containment facility at Yorktown Golf Course in the amount of $11,880 was proposed. The building would house lawn care equipment and also serve as a facility to contain leaks and protect Shiloh from the EPA and Department of Agriculture regulations on such leaks. Kurtz was the sole nay vote for moving the measure forward.
  • The village and Dierbergs became official owners of 133 acres of property at Three Springs Shiloh. The village owns and will maintain seven acres surrounding a lake on the property. Dierbergs will be moving forward with development plans.

Shiloh board honors former Chief Jim Stover for his years of service

Mayor Jim Vernier and former Chief of Police Jim Stover (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

Mayor Jim Vernier and former Chief of Police Jim Stover
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

SHILOH – Shiloh Village Mayor Jim Vernier presented the former Chief of Police Jim Stover with a plaque and thanked him for his time with the Shiloh Police Department. “It’s been 10 years, it’s hard to believe. I’ve enjoyed working with you. Our community has grown a lot in the years that you’ve managed the department. I’d like to present you with a token of our appreciation,” Vernier said as he handed the plaque to Stover, which was engraved with a message of gratitude for Stover’s service and dedication, along with his badge.

“It’s been a very enjoyable 10 years and I could not have asked for a better time. I could not have done as well with the department as everyone keeps telling me without the support from the Village board, so I want to thank you for that, too,” said Stover.

Current acting Shiloh Police Chief Gary McGill was on hand to watch his predecessor receive the award. Having been given a $3,000 per year raise at the December 19 Committee at Large meeting, the board went into executive session to discuss a different raise McGill. They unanimously voted on approving a raise in McGill’s hourly salary while he is acting chief, an increase from $39.97 per hour to $42.63 per hour, the same salary as the outgoing chief.

“The previous offer, we realized wasn’t very much when broken down over the short period of time that he was going to get it, and his workload is increasing by quite a bit,” said Vernier.

McGill said “So everyone knows, I didn’t complain about what you guys gave me last time. I’ve always told everyone that I love where I work, and I chose what I do for a living, so if I get even a dollar more an hour, I’m very happy with that. I really appreciate all that you’ve done for me.”

In Other News:

  • The board of trustees unanimously gave final approval to modify a Verizon owned cell phone tower at 4129 Lebanon Avenue. The modifications will boost service for residents.
  • After the Committee at Large meeting where it was announced that Ameren had made a $10,000 error on an offer for a 25 foot easement along the north/south edge of Sierra Park, and would be offering less money to the village, Ameren decided to go ahead and give the extra $10,000 that had been previously promised. Vernier credited the news articles released after the meeting with encouraging the change of heart, as an Ameren executive cited reading it in the newspaper and wanting to honor their original offer. The board voted to accept Ameren’s offer of $17,500 for the property. Trustee Kurtz was the sole “nay” vote.
  • The board, save for Trustee Kurtz, approved the Local Government Travel Expense Ordinance that outlines what village representatives are allowed to spend while traveling on village business. Trustee Burrelsman made two corrections to the ordinance, one being a typo and one adding the words “per day” after the hotel allowance.

Shiloh leaders address criticism of response to Friday ice storm

Village of ShilohSHILOH – The ice storm that began Friday evening “essentially cut off Shiloh,” according to Acting Police Chief Gary McGill.

“People need to stay home during incumbent weather and not try to brave the conditions. If you’re on the road and can’t get home, try to get off the road and wait out the storm somewhere,” McGill continued.

Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier opened the December Committee at Large meeting by discussing complaints that were received about the timeliness of Shiloh’s Public Works crew in clearing and salting the roads.

“I want to recognize our Shiloh Police Department. They were all hands on deck, and they were out there helping physically move cars out of ditches, off of the roadways when cars were stuck. I also want to recognize our Public Works Department who was also all hands on deck, and even helped dig out two ambulances who got stuck in front of the hospital on county roads. They really went above and beyond their duty to clear state and county roads, and got those roads cleared by about 9 p.m. that night. People made comments through emails and on Facebook that we were incompetent for not having Frank Scott Parkway clear. Frank Scott Parkway is not a Village highway, that’s a county highway, and we don’t get paid to care for it. We have a hospital here now with lots of people coming and going, and I understand that the state was busy dealing with the larger issue of the highways, but a St. Clair County truck was not seen in our area until midnight. If people have an issue with how we handled the situation, they are welcome to call me and I’ll explain what all was happening,” Vernier said. He also mentioned that his wife and daughter were stranded in two different parts of Shiloh during the storm.

Village Administrator John Marquardt said that after clearing the main roads, the Village’s crews turned to the subdivisions and did not clock out until 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.

In Other News:

• The trustees voted to table a motion that would grant a 25 foot easement to Ameren Illinois after a clerical error on the part of Ameren added $10,000 to the proposal that they had not intended to pay, for a total of just over $17,000. The intended offer came in at just over $7,000. Ameren acknowledged the clerical error and said they could offer just over $10,000 since the original offer that the Village accepted had been for more money. Village Administrator John Marquardt will be speaking to Ameren to get the best possible deal for the property and to clarify the verbiage in the proposal. He is expected to present the updated information to the trustees for the January Shiloh Board meeting.

• The trustees voted to move forward a motion to modify a cell phone tower at 4129 Lebanon Avenue. The tower, owned by Verizon, will be modified to boost cell service in the area after several residents have complained of service issues.

• The trustees are moving forward a motion regarding expenses that, per the agenda packet, “requires non- Home Rule communities to establish regulations for the travel, meal, lodging expenses incurred by any local officer, employee or elected official.” The trustees want to utilize the table set forward by the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Defense that has suggested amounts per day per category for expenses.

• After meeting in closed session, a raise for Acting Police Chief Gary McGill was approved for the extra duties that he will take on as the Chief. McGill’s salary will go from $83,000 per year to $86,000 per year,. McGill thanked the board for their approval, and Mayor Vernier thanked McGill for taking on the extra duties.

• The Village will hold their monthly board meeting on Monday, January 2 at 7:00 p.m.