At its committee at-large meeting Monday, the Shiloh Village Board unanimously shot down a proposal for one controversial apartment complex. Another barely received enough votes to garner a final consideration when the board meets again next month.
On a 6-0 vote, the board denied plans for The Retreat at Shiloh, a $49 million 276-unit development.
The trustees then had a 3-3 tie vote for moving The Savannah development, a 335-apartment, $35 million project. The tie was good enough for the project to be heard again before the entire board at its regular board meeting Sept. 5. Trustees Bob Weilmuenster, Tina Warchol and Greg O’Neil cast the opposition votes, while Colleen Powers, Kurt Burrelsman and Mark Herrmann voted in favor. If the vote ties again next week, it would be up to Mayor Jim Vernier to break it.
The two luxury apartment developments have been hot-button items at Shiloh Village Board meetings in recent months, and Monday was no different. Residents packed village hall to the point where there was only scarce room to stand.
Both were proposed within a mile of each other, near the Cross Street intersection along Frank Scott Parkway East.
Jamie Auffenberg Jr., president of Auffenberg Dealer Group, provided trustees with a letter voicing his opposition to the location of The Retreat at Shiloh development proposed for a portion of BJC property on Frank Scott Parkway East.
“As I expressed to you last week, I have no opposition to this project other than the location of the proposal, as I was previously instructed this site is the best retail development site in Shiloh. It has the best opportunities to be developed in a manner that generates significant sales tax revenue as well as property tax revenue. The proposed development is not retail. Secondly, it is being proposed in the middle of the remaining acreage of the BJC property. In effect, this makes the remaining property to the east and west too small to be attractive for a large retail development,” Auffenberg stated.
The remainder of the letter alluded to Auffenberg’s opinion that there are “many places where this apartment project could locate, but few places available for retail development.”
Auffenberg Dealer Group has plans to relocate from O’Fallon to Shiloh with a $40 million project to develop a 36-acre lot on the corner of Frank Scott Parkway and Fortune Boulevard.
However, Weilmuenster cautioned fellow board members that might change if they moved The Retreat at Shiloh project forward.
“His letter was very mild compared to the conversations had. I mean Jamie (Auffenberg) already committed to it, put money down, but he hasn’t closed yet, which won’t be until the end of the year. And he is very upset with Shiloh and BJC, because those parcels were supposed to be all commercial, not multi-family. It wouldn’t be surprise me if he pulls out of that development, and that would hurt Shiloh. Commercial is the life blood of Shiloh,” Weilmuenster said.
Weilmuenster also said that the Green Mount Crossing commercial complex, which houses with Target and Dierbergs, has its tax revenues go to O’Fallon schools, not Shiloh’s.
“That’s why it’s so important not to compete against Dierbergs, who is trying to develop Shiloh Springs (formerly called Three Springs at Shiloh) development. And that’s why we have to help them get that developed, even if that means getting the multi-family developed before the commercial in the front portion off Frank Scott Parkway,” Weilmuenster said.
Just south of Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh, across the street from Tamarack Lane, the 26-acre Savannah project calls for luxury apartments, with amenities like a lake, boathouse, fitness trail, pool and clubhouse. Rent would range from about $1,200 per month for a one-bedroom to a maximum of $2,000 for a three-bedroom, depending on amenities and unit selection.
O’Neil and Weilmuenster also said they didn’t like that The Savannah developers wanted tax increment financing funds for assistance with infrastructure, street lighting, roads and sidewalks and sanitary sewer implementation after the development moves forward.
Vernier said it was up to the board when and how to give out TIF money.
“You can ask for anything, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get it,” he said.
However, Weilmuenster was also upset that trustees were never officially noticed of the request.
John Marquart, village administrator, said the TIF funding application hadn’t been disclosed to the board, because the project didn’t exist yet.
“If this wasn’t disclosed to us before, then what else are we not being told?” Weilmuenster said.
He went on: “We already have multi-family. We don’t need more. Yes, we would get some tax dollars, but it would cost us more money in infrastructure and police. The developer wants us to rezone the property for these apartments from commercial to multi-family when we already have the back side of Dierbergs’ Three Springs zoned that way, which is why we desperately need to be there and not where these proposals are for.”
Residents spoke out against the projects citing concerns for increased traffic congestion and safety; water run-off and drainage; impact to schools; and concern with crime rising with advent of two new apartment developments.
Bob Farmer, a Shiloh resident, said he was against development, but given his past experience on the Shiloh School Board, encouraged Village Board members to keep the schools in mind if or when the apartment developments move forward and if they request TIF assistance.
Christopher Stroot, who lives on Cross Street near The Savannah proposed development, said he doubted the impact The Savannah developer projected for the amount of children who would funneled into the Shiloh School District.
“That high concentration of multi-family units there will be a disaster, no matter how high-end they may be, or low. Glen Addy and Yorktown are two prime examples. Back in the 1980s, they were (alike)… We don’t have a crystal ball. We don’t know in 20 years where it will go,” he said before he was cut short by others yelling at one another over his use of examples.
Trash contract renewal
Trustees passed a five-year renewal with Republic Services for trash and recycling services, choosing the automated trash and mandatory automated recycling with optional yard waste removal.
The three proposals before the board included:
▪ automated trash, automated mandatory recycling and voluntary yard waste;
▪ automated trash, voluntary recycling and voluntary yard waste; or
▪ automated trash, automated mandatory recycling and mandatory yard waste.
Marquart said discussions revolved around recycling and the need to eliminate the 18-gallon bin to provide residents with either a 65- or 95-gallon container for recyclable materials, which the proposals do, while keeping costs to residents “very reasonable.”
Currently, residents pay quarterly $10.78 for automated trash removal and $4.04 monthly for optional recycling. Yard waste removal is also optional at a cost of $10.77, quarterly.
Police Testing Consortium
Trustees agreed to join the Police Testing Consortium to save the village staff and police time and money when selecting future candidates to join the force.
“This cost is significantly below the cost the village would incur to undertake its own testing process,” Marquart said. “There would be a current list of candidates, significantly reduces administrative time and costs and allows for a wider pool of candidates.”
Other member communities include: Alton, Collinsville, Edwardsville, Fairview Heights, Glen Carbon, Highland, O’Fallon, Troy and Waterloo.
The cost to the village to join would be $1,800, annually, Marquart said.
“It used to cost members $5,000 to join, so this new rate is way down,” Jim Stover, former Shiloh police chief, said.
Police lateral hire policy
Trustees approved recommendations to adopt a police lateral hire policy for hiring a deputy chief and future entry-level patrol officers.
An ordinance would be prepared to delineate the particulars of how such an application and hiring process would work for entry-level and the deputy chief position, the minimum qualifications necessary, the responsibilities of the police chief, the board of police commissioners, etc., according to Marquart.
The board approved moving forward with road maintenance work funded through the village Motor Fuel Tax program.
One of the approved types of road maintenance is hot-mix asphalt overlays with plans and specifications created based on the data collected through the pavement management ratings system and approved by Illinois Department of Transportation.
Bids were received Aug. 14, and because of the size of the project, qualified bidders must own their own asphalt plant, thus narrowing the bidder pool to two contractors, according to Megan Fuhler, public works director.
The lowest bidder was Kilian Corporation for $367,930, with the runner-up being Christ Brothers Asphalt for $448,648.
“We later found out that Christ Brothers bid the job to be done on nights and weekends, due to their current work load, thus the high number,” Fuhler said.
Fuhler recommended Killian Corp. for work to Willoughby, Whitechapel, Shabin, Fawn, Rockwood, Winthrop, Sierra, Williamsburg and Eagle drives; Rockwood and Timberline courts; Yorkshire and Cloverridge lanes; and, Hill Street and parking area.
Church Street reconstruction
The approved Church Street reconstruction project was initially estimated to cost $270,000, which included construction and engineering services, but that number has gone down by half.
In 2016, the village was awarded a St. Clair County Community Development Block Grant to continue improvements on Church Street.
Baxmeyer Construction Inc. was the lowest of seven bidders at $169,670.
Fuhler recommended using Thouvenot, Wade and Moerchen for construction engineering services for $5,000, not $25,000 that was previously estimated and approved by the board.
Both TWM and the St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department have recommended the village use Baxmeyer, Fuhler said.
Funds for this work would be allocated from general funds as part of the $385,000 budgeted for street maintenance, which the St. Clair County IGD would later reimburse the village for $60,000, Fuhler said.
▪ Installation of three new, 100-watt, high-pressure, sodium street lights for phase six of the Villages at Wingate subdivision was approved. Following inquiries from trustees, Jebb Balch, Ameren field engineer, told village staff that LED lights are not available for at least a year in subdivision style fixtures for Illinois.
▪ Purchase of three police vehicles through the Illinois Joint State Purchase program costing $80,887 with outfitting vehicles costing $20,400, was approved.
▪ Additional street maintenance was approved for the Rejuvenator Project through Corrective Asphalt Materials. CAM was the only bidder at $19,024 for Eastridge Circle; Innsbruck Lane; Bridge Water and Springbrook drives; and, Brookstone, Cedarspring and Cedar Creek courts.
▪ Restorative seal street maintenance through CAM was approved. CAM, again, was the only bidder at $34,509 for Hunters Way; Cloverridge Lane; and, Tanglebrook, Brighton and Meridian Lake drives.