Congratulations, Mr Barger, on your new position as president of Lindenwood University-Belleville. You stated in your interview that your family is looking for a new home in the Belleville area.
What! Belleville area? Surely you meant Belleville. It would be a slap in the face to Belleville tax-paying citizens if you were to choose O’Fallon, Waterloo, or Columbia, where the property values are soaring. After all, you and Mayor Eckhart have stated many times how LU has saved Belleville and especially the West End. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is.
As a gesture of good faith you should consider the neighborhoods close to LU that are experiencing “growing pains”. You could walk to work. Your children could attend Union School where LU students frequently pass through. Most important, you can bond with the numerous young students who are illegally occupying the homes without a special use permit while paying large amounts of tuition.
The LU spokesperson claimed that they only need to put $10,000 to $30,000 into bringing these homes up to code so there should be no problem finding a suitable home for your family. The number of available homes grows daily.
We look forward to having you as a neighbor and sharing in this college growth experience. Please don’t worry about the recent sexual assaults, unsafe housing , drugs, alcohol, excessive lighting, parking and late night disturbances. We have been assured that these are all under control. Welcome to the neighborhood.
Dianne Rogge, Belleville