O'Fallon Progress

Scouts take center stage at city council meeting

The O’Fallon Progress

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The O'Fallon Progress serves readers in O'Fallon.

Cub Scouts of Pack 49 received a first-hand look at how city government operates during the O’Fallon City Council’s first meeting of the new year.

After leading the Pledge of Allegiance, the scouts sat through the entire meeting, then met with the mayor afterward to learn more about the inner workings of their city.

“We talked about how the city government works, about how things come forth to the council, about the number of Wards and council members, about the new developments in the city, about how much the mayor and council members get paid, and about the number of hours I work each week and other items,” Roach said afterwards.

“I love talking to the kids. The more they can understand about how government works, the more they may want to get involved in the future,” he said.

Roach said he was able to tie an awards presentation during the meeting to how everyone can volunteer.

“I always point out how volunteering to help others is always important to our community. I used the example of our Girl Scout that received the Governor’s Award,” he said.

Girl Scout Honored

Victoria Birchem of Girl Scout Troop 915 was honored for receiving the Governor’s Hometown Award in November 2018, and her road sign was recently delivered.

In Illinois, the Governor’s Hometown Awards program gives formal recognition to communities that contributed to their community’s quality of life through projects with strong volunteer support, that met a need, and made a definitive impact.

The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service presented 23 localities with honors during a special reception at the Governor’s Mansion, although the event had to be rescheduled because of snow, Birchem said.

Birchem was recognized with an honorable mention in the category of Environmental Stewardship 2018 for partnering with the O’Fallon Garden Club to help them with several digital projects. Entitled “Nomenclature for Nature,” she assisted with getting new markers for the plants that were more durable.

In addition to the plant markers, she helped the Garden Club design better educational tours for groups.

Birchem, currently a sophomore at Saint Louis University majoring in accounting, plans to continue helping. She was an active Girl Scout from kindergarten through high school.

Charlie Pitts of the O’Fallon Garden Club said her help was invaluable.

“We have received many compliments after tours, using her guidelines on how to show kids around. Without her help, we would not have gotten that done,” Pitts said.

Rezoning makes way for office park

The only ordinance to be adopted was for the Insight Office Park, formerly known as 1570 North Green Mount Road Office Park.

Applicants Mark Halloran and Steve Macaluso of Storage Center of O’Fallon received approval to change the planned use for the property, zoned B-1, planned community business district, for construction of a new office park, which includes six buildings and 54,000 square feet of office on 5.07 acres.

The property has been a vacant parcel of land that was subdivided off the Harley Davidson dealership property. The developers plan an office park in which the buildings can be sold via a condominium plat, but the parking lots and other common improvements will remain in common ownership of a lot owner’s association. The association will have covenants and restrictions regarding development standards of building design and common maintenance of the parking lot and landscaping.

A section of sidewalk and ramp will be added to provide pedestrian access to Principle Drive.

The Community Development Committee had requested the access drives serving the property and surrounding commercial development, currently known as the Unnamed Road, Principle Drive and Purchase Drive, to remain in private ownership and maintenance in perpetuity.

Fundraising efforts

The council approved two organization’s requests for a roadblock to conduct fundraising in two 11-3 votes, with Aldermen Ned Drolet, Jerry Albrecht and John Drolet voting no, but amended a third request.

VFW Post 805 will be permitted to conduct a roadblock on April 27 (rain date April 28) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the intersection of State and Lincoln.

O.U.S.A.R.T. will be permitted to conduct a roadblock on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30 from 8 a.m. to noon on both days at the intersection of State and Lincoln.

Alderman Matt Gilreath asked for and received approval of an amendment to the O’Fallon Kiwanis Club’s request to just approve the Saturday, March 16 time from 8 a.m. to noon at the intersections of State and Smiley, and State and Lincoln, redacting the Friday, March 15 hours of 4 to 6 p.m.

Gilreath again expressed concern for heavy work and school traffic at that particular time and location.

Aldermen voting no included Ross Rosenberg, Robert Kueker, Kevin Hagarty and Mark Morton.

Upcoming meetings

The next city council is on Tuesday, Jan. 22, because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 21.

A city-wide Town Hall Meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

The mayor will hold hours from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 26, at City Hall.

A Candidates Information Meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, in the council chambers.