O'Fallon Progress

Shiloh Village board honors police officers, citizens

Shiloh Police Chief hands USAF MSGT Kelly Willis an award for her Distinguished Service in Saving a Life in July 2015; Mayor Jim Vernier, right.
Shiloh Police Chief hands USAF MSGT Kelly Willis an award for her Distinguished Service in Saving a Life in July 2015; Mayor Jim Vernier, right.

It was a busy night at Shiloh Village Monday night with many announcements, awards and agenda items passed.

Before the Shiloh board approved all items on its agenda, Shiloh Police Chief Jim Stover presented the annual police awards to a group of six local citizens and police officers who showed exemplary skill and response time in different situations. One of the six recipients was unable to be present due to a last-minute U.S. Air Force deployment.

The board approved a special census, which will cost the village about $112,000. If the census reveals an increased population, it will mean additional revenue of $153 per resident in 2016, based on the Illinois Municipal Leagues’ estimate, according to Village Clerk Brenda Kern. The population is expected to increase to about 1,034 over the next four years.

Kern said revenue collection wouldn’t begin until later this year and will run through 2021, because the next census will be in 2020, “(we) won’t really start seeing that money until after 2021 usually, so we’re looking at a net gain to the village general fund and motor fuel tax fund to be about $500,000, and that makes it worth doing.”

According to Kern, the breakdown cost to residents making up the $153 is $25.80 earmarked for Motor Fuel Tax; $22.20 is state use tax; and, income tax is $105. So that totals the $153, and that has to be multiplied by 1,000 estimated population growth to equal the net gain.

Mayor Jim Vernier said he’s hopeful about the upcoming special census, which he forecasts will help provide extra cushion in the general fund and motor fuel tax funds, which helps with streets and sewer repairs.

Megan Fuhler is the latest to join the forces at village hall in Shiloh at her post as director of public works.

“She’s very qualified, and has an extensive background from University City and (was) working for the City of Edwardsville too,” Kern said.

Vernier said there were about seven candidates for the position, which was narrowed down to Fuhler and one other.

“We’re looking forward to helping the team out with new ideas she has to offer,” Vernier said. “She came highly recommended and has extensive background in streets and parks departments, which is what we need so Norm (Etling, our village engineer who’s nearing retirement, and been covering both departments) can focus on other engineering responsibilities.”

Etling said he looks forward to showing Fuhler the ropes at the village. He said there is no set date for his retirement.

“It’s Megan’s first day, and so far so good,” Etling said. “When you get over 64-years-old there has to be some sustainability and back-end planning, and I’ve been helping to pitch in on other duties around the village going on 10 years now, so I think it’s a good time to bring in someone new to learn the ropes.”

Etling was recently selected to be on the Home Builders Association of Southern Illinois board.

Illinois American Water is partnering with the village to provide two warehouse buildings at Three Springs Park in an effort to work together to save each entity money, according to Etling.

“It’s a great partnership that will allow both parties to be happy, and now Three Springs will eventually have a year-round heated restroom, which is great,” Etling said.

The village board accepted the lowest bid of $28,000 to raize the Red Barn property

“I’m really disappointed that we couldn’t find another tenant for the Red Barn, because it was really a neat building, but we still have the eight acres, but it is what it is, and at the end of the day, the eight acres we have for the cost of say $200,000...and it wasn’t a bad investment,” Vernier said.

The lowest bid of about $28,250 was from Supreme Trucking and Excavating of Roxana.

Kern said the work won’t begin until sometime in March due to the finalization of paperwork involved.

Police awards

Every year, Shiloh Police officials and supporting staff choose a handful of candidates who’ve shown exemplary skill, compassion, selflessness, tact and strong communication in various situations throughout the year to earn their names in the pot of possible recipients for the annual police awards.

“I want to congratulate all of our officers this year who’ve been honored for their good and upstanding works, but also to congratulate the department as a whole that we have so many wonderfully conscienceless officers willing to go above and beyond, not just the bare minimum,” Vernier said.

This year, Stover said there were six awards, but one of the two recipients for the lifesaving award was Air Force Major James D. Cote, who was deployed as an active USAF officer.

The other Lifesaving Award was given to USAF Master Sergeant Kelly Willis for the same reason, as both military members worked in tandem to try and save Shiloh resident Duane Sudholt, who was caught on fire after his lawnmower rolled over down into a ditch, pouring gasoline all over his body and immediately igniting, according to Stover. The incident occurred on July 29, 2015.

“Regrettably, the victim succumbed to his burn injuries later at the hospital,” Stover said. “Had it not been for the quick and decisive action of Master Sergeant Willis and Cote, there is no doubt that Mr. Sudholt would have passed at the scene of the accident.”

The two service members, without hesitation or concern for their own safety, exited their vehicles, ran to the victim and began to utilize their own service uniform shirts to put out the flames, Stover said.

Patrolman Zachary Green earned himself Officer of the Year, as he is one of the most proactive officers in the department when it comes to making quality traffic arrests and specifically DUI enforcement, according to Stover.

“He is one of our more rounded officers and deserves this recognition for the quality of his service. Officer Green services as an acting shift commander when his sergeant is off and is the Departments Defensive Tactics instructor,” Stover said.

According to Stover and Kern, what Tracy Bone did was nothing short of amazing in today’s world — Bone found lying on the ground of the local Moto-Mart parking lot a Scott Credit Union envelope filled with $651 cash, and instead of keeping it, she “did the ultimate good deed by bringing it to the police,” Stover said.

Stover said his team of officers were able to track down the rightful owner and return the money which he said, “I never thought I’d see this again, I figured it was long gone,” the person the money belonged to, Michael Graul, told Stover when he nominated her for the award.

A Chief Certificate of Commendation was given to Detective Sergeant Jesse Phillips for his exceptional performance of duty in October 2015, when an armed robbery occurred at 2421 Patrick Drive in Shiloh, during which time the suspect fired his handgun at the victim after robbing him.

“The victim, fortunately was not injured as the bullet was stopped by his car door,” Stover said. “Phillips worked diligently for two days interviewing witnesses and following leads. Two days later the suspect was identified and Phillips went by himself to bring the suspect, which he did at gunpoint, as the suspect was armed with a loaded stolen firearm.”

Stover said Phillips played an integral role in taking the suspect off the streets.

The other Chief Certificate of Commendation for Exceptional Performance of Duty was presented to Patrol Sergeant Rodney E. Kreke for his quick and effective response time in late June 2015 to a possible subject being shot, and upon arrival Kreke confirmed Kenneth J. Easley was located and deceased, Stover said.

“Kreke immediately took control of the homicide scene, and his initial response to the homicide was handled perfectly and laid the foundation for the case to be solved,” Stover said. “His actions and ability to direct his officers made the Investigators job significantly easier and was essential to the beginning of this investigation thought its successful completion.”

Herschel’s honor

Other announcements made by Vernier included an honor of a “true leader of our local Home Builders Association,” with recognition as the HBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award by Herschel Johnson.

“Herschel had quite the resume as a football player, coach, teacher, builder, leader and mentor along with his love for the Cardinals, Illini Football and his family,” said Tracy Butler, executive officer of the association. “He had a special way of making others around him feel like they were the only person in the room with him. His presence was always felt and he truly cared about those in our industry.”

Over the years, Herschel attended home shows with children en-tow to hand out his ‘Herschel kisses’ to consumers, while sharing his many milestones for the local chapter.

“He gave countless hours behind the scenes and enjoyed sharing the issues facing us and the direction things needed to go,” Butler said. “One of his favorite events was our annual golf outing; he was not a good golfer by any means but his competitive spirit always made for fun challenges on the course. From this year forward our annual golf outing has been named the “Herschel E. Johnson Golf Classic” in his memory.”

“The entertainment value that Herschel brought to our lives is second to none. Herschel always had a smile to share and a song in his heart,” Butler said. “(Let’s) honor the man, the myth, the legend.”

Other business:

▪  Shiloh Station Road, Phase 5 resolution 2016-02 B passed to appropriate motor fuel tax funds for Shiloh Station Road, Phase 5.

▪  Right of Way Maintenance for Memorial Hospital along Interstate 64 to maintain the trees and brush growing in the ROW.

▪  Engineering contract with TWM for soil investigation, retaining wall study for Shiloh Station Road improvements.

▪  Restoration of a swale at 10 Hartfield Lane.

▪  Road improvements for Innsbruck Lane.

▪  Authorize to purchase A one ton rated four-by-four pickup truck.

▪  Intergovernmental agreement for Shiloh Valley Township for road maintenance.

▪  Resolution 2016-02-01 A passed to support 2016 Community Development Block Grant application for phase 9 of the neighborhood master plan at Church Street, phase 1.

▪  Resolution 2016-02-01 C passed to support fund allocation of Church Street and Main Street intersection improvements.