Belleville

Belleville OKs appeal to block St. E’s move; seven aldermen sworn in

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert Haida swears in new and returning aldermen before the Belleville City Council meeting on Monday evening. From left: Roger Wigginton, Phil Elmore, Raffi Ovian, Scott Tyler, Joe Hazel, Mike Buettner, Paul Seibert and Ed Dintleman.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert Haida swears in new and returning aldermen before the Belleville City Council meeting on Monday evening. From left: Roger Wigginton, Phil Elmore, Raffi Ovian, Scott Tyler, Joe Hazel, Mike Buettner, Paul Seibert and Ed Dintleman. Belleville News-Democrat

Belleville City Council members decided unanimously Monday to continue their fight to keep St. Elizabeth’s Hospital from heading to O’Fallon by authorizing Mayor Mark Eckert to have the city attorney file for an administrative review in circuit court of a state board’s ruling allowing the hospital to move.

Eckert said the appeal will be filed soon unless City Attorney Garrett Hoerner finds information in his investigation that the city should not file the paperwork.

Last month, the state’s Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted 8-0 to allow St. Elizabeth’s to build a 144-bed hospital off Interstate 64 on North Green Mount Road for $253 million. St. Elizabeth’s would close its 60-year-old, 303-bed hospital in downtown Belleville.

Eckert said he couldn’t comment further because of the pending litigation.

A spokesman for St. Elizabeth’s could not be reached for comment late Monday night.

Before the City Council meeting, seven new aldermen – Mike Buettner, Ed Dintelman, Phil Elmore, Joe Hazel, Raffi Ovian, Scott Tyler and Roger Wigginton – were sworn into office after winning elections to the Belleville City Council on April 7.

Longtime Alderman Paul Seibert also was sworn into office after being re-elected last month.

One of the first significant issues the new aldermen will face is the proposed Tax Increment Financing district for a development that could include a hotel, a Hofbrauhaus brew pub and other restaurants, a 30,000-square-foot convention center and a convenience store on Illinois 15 across from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. A public hearing for the TIF district will be at 6 p.m. on May 11.

In other business Monday, the City Council approved Eckert’s recommendations for committee assignments for aldermen for the 2015-16 fiscal year that began Friday. Eckert is an ex-officio member of all committees, according to city code.

Here is the lineup for City Council members:

Finance: Phil Silsby, chairman; Joe Hazel, Janet Schmidt, Kent Randle, Raffi Ovian, Paul Seibert, Trent Galetti and Jim Musgrove.

Police and Fire: Johnnie Anthony, chairman; Joe Hazel, Janet Schmidt, Kent Randle, Phil Silsby, Paul Seibert, Phil Elmore and Jim Musgrove.

Master Sewer: Ed Dintelman, chairman; Joe Hazel, Mike Buettner, Scott Tyler, Johnnie Anthony, Bob White, Phil Elmore and Roger Wigginton.

Streets and Grades: Paul Seibert, chairman; Ken Kinsella, Mike Buettner, Kent Randle, Raffi Ovian, Ed Dintelman, Phil Elmore and Roger Wigginton.

Traffic: Bob White, chairman; Mike Buettner, Scott Tyler, Johnnie Anthony and Phil Elmore.

Public Health and Housing: Ken Kinsella, chairman; Scott Tyler, Raffi Ovian, Ed Dintelman, and Jim Musgrove.

Personnel: Phil Silsby, chairman; Janet Schmidt, Johnnie Anthony, Bob White and Ed Dintelman.

Economic Development and Annexation: Ken Kinsella, chairman; Janet Schmidt, Kent Randle, Johnnie Anthony, Phil Silsby, Paul Seibert, Trent Galetti and Roger Wigginton.

Ordinance and Legal Review: Jim Musgrove, chairman; Ken Kinsella, Janet Schmidt, Bob White and Trent Galetti.

Library Board: Phil Silsby.

Downtown Redevelopment: Ken Kinsella.

Planning Commission: Ed Dintelman and Bob White.

The council also ratified Eckert’s recommendations for the following appointment for other city boards:

Dave Martinson, a former fire chief for the city, to serve a three-year term on the Fire Pension Board; Jim Rokita, a former police chief for the city, to serve a one-year term on the Police Pension Board; Tom Dinges to serve a two-year term on the Police Pension Board; Dorothy Meyer, a former alderwoman, to serve a five-year term on the Parks and Recreation Board; Rick Ortiz, a former City Council candidate, to serve the remaining two years of a three-year term on the Library Board; and Steve Zimmerman to serve a five-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Contact reporter Mike Koziatek at mkoziatek@bnd.com or 618-239-2502. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeKoziatekBND.

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