After discussing the idea for the last couple months, Shiloh village trustees accepted the offer to take over Shiloh Valley Cemetery from Shiloh Valley Township Monday night during its regular board of trustees meeting.
"I just think it's the right thing to do," Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier said during the March 26 committee meeting.
Shiloh Valley Township Supervisor David Tiedemann, who also serves as the cemetery sexton, told The Progress previously that turning the cemetery over to the village was a matter of “thinking ahead and getting it in safer hands in the event that someday townships are done away with.”
The township took over the cemetery in the early 1990s from the Shiloh Cemetery Association.
"This is in the middle of our community, and the township has difficulty, (because) it's a small operation," Vernier said. "Whereas, we are a larger operation, and our backhoe is about 500 feet away from the cemetery, versus they have to hire a contractor from Lebanon to come dig the graves when they need them."
Multiple Revolutionary War soldiers are buried in Shiloh Valley Cemetery, which dates back to the 1800s.
"There's so much rich history in that cemetery," Vernier said.
The township has agreed to continue paying for grass mowing and maintenance through the remainder of this year, Vernier said.
"We will take it over next year and pay for it," Vernier said.
Mowing and maintenance amounts to about about $9,875 for the six-acre cemetery per year, officials said. A levee had been imposed annually by the township in the amount of $10,000 for maintenance, Vernier said.
"They will be eliminating that levee, and we are going to absorb that into our General Fund costs, if we are able to," Vernier said.
The cemetery has a perpetual maintenance with a balance of roughly $75, 300, according to Vernier. The cemetery care fund is sourced from burial sale. There are about two acres still open in the cemetery. Grave sites run $500 to $550. Cremation burial plots are $300.
"There are laws that govern the uses of those funds, so we wouldn't be able to use the funds for normal maintenance," Vernier said.
Village Clerk Brenda Kern wrote in a memo included in the March 26 agenda, "The interest from (the perpetual maintenance fund) was supposed to pay for mowing, but it has not been able to do that since interest rates plummeted many years ago. The township has just left the fund alone and it is currently in CDs, which would be transferred to the village."
The village has plans to put ornamental fencing and improve the appearance of the entrance of the cemetery in the near future, Vernier said.
Siteman Cancer Center
Trustees cast final unanimous approval Monday for the permit and plans for Metro East Service Inc. to build a $38.3 million medical office building expansion on the Memorial Hospital East campus. The building will house a Siteman Cancer Center.
On March 19, the Shiloh Planning Commission gave the green light for the project. BJC HealthCare representative Christopher Dean told the planning commission members then that construction is anticipated to be "closer to 19-month construction duration."
The new building is a project of Memorial Regional Health Services, Metro-East Services, Memorial Group, BJC HealthCare and Washington University Physicians in Illinois.
The three-story, 69,500-square-foot building will be the second phase of the medical office project on the the 94-acre campus Memorial campus at 1414 Cross St.
The first medical office building was completed in October. The new building will be very similar, including colors and types of building materials, Joe Carey, architect from St. Louis, Mo.-based ArchImage.
A new drive under canopy and entry will be added to join the two medical buildings, Carey said.
The Gateway Metro Federal Credit Union special use permit and plans to build a main branch campus at the corner of Golden Springs Parkway and N. Green Mount Road also received unanimous approval Monday.
On March 19, the Shiloh Planning Commission members also unanimously approved Gateway Metro Federal Credit Union's plans to build a main branch campus at the corner of Golden Springs Parkway and N. Green Mount Road.
Currently, the credit union is leasing space at 2693 N. Illinois St. in Swansea, in the strip mall next to Schnucks. But the lease is expiring in January 2019, which is when the credit union hopes to be in it's new Shiloh location.
United Construction of St. Louis, Mo., is taking the lead on the six- to seven-month construction project, according to Jay Lewis, the credit union's president.
The project includes three buildings, totaling 21,120-square-feet, on three subdivided lots that total about five acres. This is a slight increase from the original plan started 10 years ago. The location is referred to as the Wagner Commercial tract.
On May 5, 2008, the property was rezoned from non-urban to B-1 for a one-story bank with a drive-thru window and ATM.
Trustee Kurt Burrelsman asked during the March 26 committee meeting if the issue brought up by residents many years ago about the lighting from the cars using the drive-thru terminals would still be an issue or not.
"I remember there was some public concern at that meeting (in 2008) about how the drive-thru lanes were laid out, because they were worried about the lights shining right in their homes, and we went to some lengthy discussion to get that plat organized that that would not be a factor to appease those residents," Burrelsman said.
Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen civil engineer Marsha Maller said, during the March 26 committee meeting, the new credit union proposal wouldn't cause an issue. The residential areas are facing north and east, where as the drive-thru lanes face west, Maller said.
"The drive-thru (lanes) are still facing the west, facing Green Mount Road in the same way," she said.
In other business
▪ Shiloh resident Chris Newman addressed the board during the public comment portion of the March 26 committee meeting, to voice concerns for safety of future cyclists who may use the Seibert Road Pedestrian and Bike Trail along Seibert Road. Newman said her driveway crosses the trail. She went on to say that she "never knew the trail was happening" before a large construction vehicle was delivered to her side yard. Vernier apologized for the mistake by the contractor, but also noted that more than one public hearing took place for the project to notify residents and allow for public comment. Megan Fuhler, public works director, told Newman the project dates back to 2012, when a study was first done by Heartlands Conservancy. Public hearings, discussions and votes for approval followed.
▪ The board unanimously approved an amendment to the intergovernmental agreement between multiple neighboring communities regarding the St. Clair County MidAmerica Enterprise Zone. The board approved the addition of about 1.45 acres in Lebanon to construct a new grocery store, Don's IGA. John Marquart, village administrator, said the current zone is about 12.15 square miles, with the maximum being 15 square miles.
▪ Approval was given for Verizon Wireless to upgrade its cell tower at 4129 Lebanon Ave. and for AT&T to construct of a new cell tower on the "Red Barn" property at 2400 Country Road, in the southeast corner of the property, next to Sierra Park. The village will receive $1,000 per month from AT&T through a lease agreement.
▪ Approval was given to request development proposals for the village-owned property at the corner of Maple and North Main streets. The nearly 5-acre lot is zoned B-3 highway/business and is vacant with no structures. Vernier said during the March 26 committee meeting discussion that the plan is to "eventually unload it" to a developer after public hearings take place for residents' input. The location was once considered for a new village hall and police station, but there isn't enough room for parking, Vernier said.
▪ Approval of the 2018 manhole rehabilitation project was given in the amount of roughly $57,000, with $30,000 being paid out of Tax Increment Finance Fund B, and the remainder from the village's Sewer Fund.
▪ Feb. 26 minutes were approved.
▪ The board went into executive session for the discussion of sale or purchase of real estate, but no action was taken on March 26 and, again, Monday.