The city of O’Fallon is moving toward regulating its airspace.
The City Council advanced two ordinances on July 16 that would limit the use of drones.
On first reading Monday, the council advanced the amendment to the city code regulating unmanned aircraft systems in the city, as well as enacting a new part about invasion of privacy. The next action on both is set for the Aug. 6 meeting.
The move is because drones pose a potential threat to people, property, privacy and general health and welfare of residents, according to city officials.
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The council also amended its mutual aid agreement with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department to reflect the change. The department has a drone of its own.
Purchasing policy amended
The council also updated the city’s purchasing policy make purchasing from local vendors easier.
The council decided to add a provision that allows for the selection of the local vendor, even if the vendor’s quote/bid proposal might not be the lowest submitted.
The unanimously approved change allows the city to chose in favor of a local vendor when the lowest bidding vendor’s bid is higher than the non-local vendor by no more than 2 percent or $2,000, whichever is less. The limits were found be common in the statutes of other local municipalities, a review of neighboring communities by city officials found.
If this occurs, then the local vendor can be considered the lowest responsible bidder.
The change also defines a local bidder as:
▪ any person, firm, partnership, corporation, including franchises or branches, licensed to conduct business with the city;
▪ physically operating within the corporate boundaries; and
▪ subject to city taxes.
Resident Charlie Pitts suggested it be returned to committee, as he was reluctant to change the manual policy, expressing concern that local businesses who did not meet certain criteria could be awarded a bid over others.
Presidential Streets Stormwater Remediation
In other action, the council approved the next phase of the Presidential Streets Stormwater Remediation, awarding Baxmeyer Construction a contract for $943,770.22 to perform the work, and approving Rhutasel and Associates’ construction services for $48,000.
The “Presidential Streets,” so named because each is named for a U.S. president, have had drainage issues after years of naturally occurring sediment and residents filling in ditches. Two of the project’s phases have been completed. The Phase 3 work includes installing storm sewer pipe and inlets to allow the flow of stormwater, regrading a ditch along both sides of the existing roadways, and reconstruction of the roadway with a concrete ribbon curb and new asphalt surface. In addition, the sanitary sewer main within the limits of the project will be replaced.
A Ward 1 resident Terry Wiczkowski, who lives on of E. Adams Street, appeared before the council to suggest the city hold off on Phase 3 until some work from early phases is corrected.
“It’s a big mess. It needs to be straightened out,” he said.
Wiczkowski said the street is too narrow for emergency vehicles. He also complained about the weeds in the ditches and the difficulty of mowing the right-of-way.
“It seems like the north end of town gets more attention than our part of town,” he said.
He complimented Alderman Kevin Hagarty for his efforts and former alderman Jerry Mouser, now city clerk.
“They fought long and hard for us,” he said.
The council also approved replacing the roof at the O’Fallon Historical Society. Joiner Sheet Metal and Roofing Inc. was awarded the bid for $44,480.
The intergovernmental agreement between O’Fallon and Fairview Heights for 911 dispatch staffing was approved.
With several summer events coming up, the council approved special permits for the activities, including Food Truck Fridays at the O’Fallon VFW Post 805; parade for the O’Fallon Cityfest on Aug. 17 and 18; Fair St. Clair on Aug. 25 in O’Fallon Community Park; and Brad and Mandy’s Memorial Run on Aug. 25.
Food Truck Fridays will be located on E. First Street, next to the VFW from 4 p.m. to midnight, with a couple food trucks expected, although they likely will not stay until midnight, Marcia Crawford of the VFW stated.
For the McKendree Metro Rec Plex, the council agreed to continue the temporary signage until Dec. 31, as the permit expired and the business needs extra time while the development and roadway improvements are still under construction. Utilities are being relocated, and Scott Troy Road and U.S. 50 are being widened.
Construction at City Hall is nearly completed, and the next City Council meeting, Aug. 6, is expected to return to the council chambers there.
The Committee of the Whole will meet July 30 at 6 p.m. at the Public Safety Building. The mayor will have Saturday hours from 10 a.m. to noon on July 28.
The mayor thanked everyone who attended the Town Hall meeting, or watched it on Facebook, as the city received over 900 views. He also thanked the local newspapers for “the nice articles on what is happening in the city.”
The Miss O’Fallon Pageant is Friday, Aug. 3.