Metro-East News

St. Clair County designated as Purple Heart County

St. Clair County has been designated a Purple Heart County by the Military Order of the Purple Heart Hayes/Krell Memorial Chapter 159.

During Tuesday’s St. Clair County Board meeting, board members received a Purple Heart flag from the Purple Heart Hayes/Krell Memorial Chapters.

St. Clair County’s proclamation recognized the sacrifices made by veterans and those who were wounded in combat. The county board saluted and showed its gratitude to veterans in its proclamation.

“The oldest county in the state of Illinois is now the newest Purple Heart County in the country,” said Joe Schaler, senior vice commander of Hayes/Krell Memorial Chapter 159.

Other items

▪  New zoning commissioner: County Board members approved the appointment of Steven Howell, of Millstadt, to the Zoning Board of Appeals to replace Commissioner Charles Frederick, who resigned from the board. Howell is completing a term that would expire Dec. 31, 2018.

Frederick was on the zoning board for 19 years and previously served on the County Board for 16 years.

▪  Storage facility approval: The County Board approved a plan from Paul and Jeanne McCleery, of Lebanon, to open a storage facility at a bank-owned property at 10027 W. U.S. 50. The St. Clair County Zoning Board of Appeals earlier this month recommended approval of the couple’s request for a special-use permit for the four-acre property.

The planned McCleery Safe Storage also is slated to have storage sheds for purchase in the future. They also plan to have self-service ice, propane tank exchanges, propane tank refilling, as well as U-Haul equipment rentals.

Paul McCleery plans to use the existing two storage buildings on the property, including a 129,000-square-foot building, and then may build up to five additional buildings, he has said.

▪  County engineer change: With County Engineer James Fields slated to retire on June 9, County Board named Norman Etling as acting county engineer, effective June 10.

Etling currently serves as assistant county engineer. He has served as the village engineer in Shiloh and city engineer for Belleville.

Fields took over when previous County Engineer Darrell Cates retired.

“He’s done a great job for the highway department,” said County Board Chairman Mark Kern.

Kern said Etling will eventually become the permanent replacement for Fields.

▪  Highway Department materials: County Board members approved the purchase of the highway department’s bituminous materials for maintenance work for $1.27 million from JTC Petroleum Co., out of Maryville. Last year, the materials cost $1.1 million from JTC.

Fields said the cost of the materials is still lower than it was two years ago.

▪  Engineering agreements: County board members approved an engineering agreement with Oates Associates to design the extension of Frank Scott Parkway East from Cross Street to Illinois 158. The design work is estimated to cost about $120,000.

The board also approved two agreements with Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen Engineering to carry out the construction engineering services for two projects: work on Signal Hill Boulevard and the relocation of a sanitary sewer main along Frank Scott Parkway East. The two engineering contracts total $91,700.

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter