Belleville City Council OKs plans for city’s first marathon

On Tuesday the Belleville City Council approved a request from the Belleville Running Club and Toolen’s Running Start to host the city’s first marathon to benefit the city’s parks department and BackStoppers, which helps the families of police officer and firefighters who die in the line of duty.

The 26.2-mile Belleville Main Street Marathon will take place on Sept. 24 primarily along West Main Street, the Richland Creek Greenway Trail and the MetroBikeLink Trail in Belleville. It will begin and finish at West Main and Second streets.

“Belleville has a very strong running community,” said Sarah West, publicity chair for the running club. “We think this will be good for Belleville.

“We really would like a lot of people to be spectators on the course because runners absolutely love having spectators on the course,” West said.

Race organizers also will seek up to 300 volunteers to help monitor the route.

Belleville is known for having one of the longest Main Streets in the country and race organizers want to use the marathon to showcase this fact.

Mayor Mark Eckert looks forward to the event. “It’s going to be a neat thing,” he said.

The race is expected to attract runners locally, regionally and nationally.

Runners will use one lane of West Main Street during the race that will start at 7 a.m.

Dan Trapp, vice president of the Belleville Running Club, said runners will detour around the West Main Street and North Belt West intersection. Traffic will be allowed to flow on cross streets except when runners are present. Trapp said the runners are expected to be off Main Street by 10 a.m.

The entry fee will be $65. For more information, potential sponsors, volunteers and participants can contact Toolen’s Running Start at or 618-628-9898.

In other business

▪  Aldermen approved a three-year contract for the city’s union library workers. The contract is retroactive to May 1 and will end on April 30, 2018. The employees will receive a 2 percent pay raise each year.

Library Director Lee Spearman said the library has 14 full-time employees and about a dozen part-time employees in the union.

▪  The council OK’d a change in the contract with Gonzalez Cos. LLC of Belleville, which is designing a sewer project in the area bounded by North Church Street, Orbon Place, Koerner Street and White Street. The city asked that sewers along Lebanon Avenue be added to the project. Consequently, the contract was increased by $108,090 to $641,826.