O'Fallon Progress

Shiloh board votes down private property request for erosion mitigation assistance

Shiloh logo.
Shiloh logo.

At 6:55 p.m. on Mon., May 2, the Village Board of Trustees held a five-minute public hearing for the Annual Budget and Appropriation for the fiscal year beginning May 1, 2016 and ending April 30, 2017, which no residents attended or addressed the board with questions or concerns.

Following the unopposed public hearing, all items, with one exception, passed with a majority vote during Monday’s Village of Shiloh Board of Trustees Regular Board meeting, including items discussed in executive closed session.

Trustee Colleen Powers was the only absent member on the board. Trustee Mark Kurtz voted against approving the annual budget and appropriation, as he did last year too.

The one item that did not pass Monday was a single item under Chairman Bob Weilmuenster’s Planning & Development Committee — a request from residents, Don and Ann Dzengolewski, asking village staff to provide and load about a truckload of rip rap, also known as loose stone used to form a foundation for a breakwater or other structure, to address erosion on their private property.

Trusttees Kurtz and Kurt Burrelsman were joined by Weilmuenster in voting down the request. Trustee Greg O’Neil and Tina Warchol voted in favor.

The same item was passed on Mon. April 25 at the Committee at Large meeting to be forwarded to Monday’s Regular meeting, but after further discussion the trustee majority decided against helping the Dzengolewski’s with their ongoing erosion issue in Keswick Place subdivision.

“Our back yards backs up to the side of Cedarhurst (Assisted Living and Memory Care facility off of South Main Street). About five years ago we addressed an issue with you and Mayor (Jim) Vernier. You were both very helpful with the problem,” the Dzengolewski’s said in an email sent to Village Engineer Norm Etling on April 20 before the April 25 meeting.

The email continues, “Now, once again we are asking for your assistance with an issue with the waterway, which is a water way drainage for Cedarhurst and the village...the ground is suffering tremendously from erosion. We discovered large areas that are washing out and will only get worse if they are not attended to.”

What initially drew attention to the returning issue of erosion was the couple was clearing trees in their back yard, as invasive Honeysuckle Ivy had taken over and killed most of the trees, according to the couple living at 4216 Cowdray Park Court, which is at the end of the Cowdray Park Court cul de sac.

“I think the trustees are worried it sets a precedent for what the village is willing to do in the future on private property,” Brenda Kern, village clerk, said.

After executive session, the board voted and approved four items. The first, to authorize a real estate contract to go through for the sale of a piece of property in Havenhills. According to Kern, the property will allow the village to get money to pay off some of the development bonds.

Second item included the approval of all village non-union employees be awarded a four percent raise for those who are not on probation, like new employees still within their 90 days since hiring period.

“At the end of the year his or her salary will be adjusted,” Kern noted.

Third item approved unanimously, the board put a cap on staff salaries not to exceed $115,000 annually. Current employees in positions of high leadership earning that amount or close to it are, Etling, who has been with the village for 20 years is at the cap amount; Village Administrator John Marquart; and, Shiloh Police Chief Jim Stover.

“If someone has been with the company for a long time, it stands to reason that they may reach that cap amount,” Kern said, who has been with the village for 25 years.

Fourth and last item approved after the closed session commenced, was to authorized Marquart to bid at a real estate auction in the near future on a half-acre lot backing up to the Shiloh Community Park.

The address is 316 S. Main St., and if purchased by the village, it will be used as additional parking for larger events held at the park or as needed by staff and residents. There is a house on the property which would hypothetically be razzed if obtained.

Stay tuned for more on this next week.