O'Fallon Progress

Should Shiloh build a new police station, village hall? Board to consider it.

Left, Trustees Tina Warchol and Bob Weilmuenster; FGM Architects Bryan Mason and Timothy Kwiatkowski; and Village Administrator John Marquart (not fully pictured).
Left, Trustees Tina Warchol and Bob Weilmuenster; FGM Architects Bryan Mason and Timothy Kwiatkowski; and Village Administrator John Marquart (not fully pictured). rkirsch@bnd.com

The Village of Shiloh is considering doing a space needs analysis for a new police station and municipal building. However, that item was tabled during Monday night’s committee meeting and is expected to be discussed at next month’s meeting on Oct. 24.

“We don’t need an analysis to know that we need more space for better facilities (like the police station and the village hall), but I think what we need to do is have a discussion about whether we are going to (create) the funds to do a structure because otherwise we could study this until we are blue in the face, but we’re not going to accomplish anything, ” Trustee Kurt Burrelsman said.

Burrelsman recommended the board make more time for reviewing the budget and seeing how a bond, loan or village funds could be used for construction of a new facility for both in a centralized location within the village, with ample room for expansion.

“We need to make sure our city budget is okay with it, because right now I’m not so sure that it is,” he said.

Trustees Mark Kurtz, Bob Weilmuenster, Colleen Powers and Greg O’Neil all concurred that a need does exist for the village to expand both departments in another location. Trustee Tina Warchol didn’t offer comments during discussion.

“I think we need to find some property where we can build it first — where are we going to go?” O’Neil asked.

Kurtz responded with, “Well we own property all over Shiloh.”

It all comes down to money and location — two things that Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier pointed out have been unknowns since the last analysis was done eight years ago.

O’Fallon-based FGM Architects estimated $8,500 to do pre-design services, which trustees think may be high, but Vernier and Village Administrator John Marquart said it may be worth it. Further discussion will continue at the next meeting, as advised by Village Attorney Terry Bruckert, of Bruckert, Gruenke & Long.

“If we don’t get a move on this now, we will end up in the same boat later just repeating history,” Vernier said.

Burrelsman discussed his concerns about the village’s finances. “We’ve got quite a bit of stuff coming out of our finances coming up. We’re talking about a Cultural Arts Center that will need funding if that happens, and I’m not trying to prioritize but we’re getting a lot of things out there (that require funding), and I think personally before we spend any money, we need to know where we want to put these new buildings,” he said.

O’Neil, a former Shiloh police officer, said the need exists for a new building. “There is no question. We need a new facility. We’re busting at the seams,” he said. “Once we nail down which is the most cost effective, then we will be moving forward at least, but it needs to happen soon.”

Police Chief Jim Stover said current landlord Ambrosia Land Investments LLC, which is owned by Steve Wilke, has had minor issues with parking overflowing from businesses like Wilke, Window & Door and Norm’s Bargain Barn, adjacent and across the parking lot from the police station at 3498 Lebanon Ave.

“We don’t even have enough spaces to park all of our own police and employee vehicles, let alone visitors,” Stover said.

The village entered into a lease agreement for the police department in September 2008, which is set to expire Sept. 30. The committee-at-large approved extending the lease for another year at its meeting on Monday night. However, the full Shiloh Village Board must still approve the lease extension.

If approved, the village would pay a monthly rate of $3,292.33, which is a 2.5 percent increase from the previous year. After the one-year lease, the month-to-month rate would be $3,375.66, which is another 2.5 percent increase from the previous year. If the village continues past 2018, the monthly rate, again, will increase another 2.5 percent to $3,460.05.

Prior to renting space, Village Clerk Brenda Kern said the police used half of the current village hall municipal building, which was cramped for space then. In 1991, when Kern started at the village she said the fire department, the police and the village staff all shared a space in the village hall, which was a series of garages that eventually was renovated to what it is today.

“It’s hard to believe, but when I came to my position in 1991, we were still a very small community without a whole lot of money for capital improvement projects. I mean at that time we were only gaining generated sales tax from the Wilke’s businesses off Lebanon and a little from the Gas Mart,” Kern said.

In other news, the committee approved the following at its meeting on Monday night:

▪  Wingate Development Phase five final plat

▪  A surplus vehicle, 2004 Toyota Tundra, used by Shiloh Police

Robyn L. Kirsch: 618-239-2690, @BND_RobynKirsch