O'Fallon Weekly February 14, 2018

Policy changes will do away with restaurant inspection scores Page 2 District 104 School Board talks consolidation, policy updates, student safety Wednesday February 14, 2018 Vol. 3, No. 43 $1.00 Planning continues for downtown pavilion project Council committee seeks no change to city trash contract By Martha Stoffel Weekly Reporter Superintendent Dawn Elser congratulates three members of the Central District 104 Spelling Bee Team, Brooke Bynum, Willow Bynum, and Jeremiah Reed. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller) By Angela Simmons Weekly Reporter O'FALLON - At the Central School District 104 February board meeting, Superintendent Dawn Elser spoke to board members about a recent interview she gave to Fox 2 reporter Elliott Davis and said there had been some progress on the consolidation front. She addressed where things stand for the consolidation study, and what still needs to be done. Elser referenced the BEST committee and how they are a part of the consolidation study. “What that means is that we’ve agreed to do the study to see if consolidation is in the best interest of the communities. Instead of the schools being the backbone of that study, the Chamber of Commerce has offered to spearhead that committee to do the study, that way, it’s a neutral study where nobody at the school is involved, and there’s 14 to 16 members of the community on that committee that will do the study for us. Things we’re hoping to find out with that study are is it in the best interest for our kids financially, academically, athletically, what will it do to transporta- tion? Hopefully that study will answer all of those questions for us,” Elser explained. She also went on to explain the various ways that consolida- tion could make it on to a voting ballot for the public to decide on, including a committee of ten getting signatures from residents in each district, and the districts themselves agreeing to pass a resolution that then travels through official Illinois channels like the Regional Office of Education, and ISBE. “As far as a timetable, the committee is moving rather slowly getting the input from schools, school board presidents, and super- intendents. Then, they will chose the consultant to do that study. No consultant has been chosen yet. Once a consultant is chosen, then they will do the study and bring the results back to the school districts,” Elser said. In Other News: • Elser discussed an email that she sent out regarding safety of drop off procedures as many parents are not following procedure See “Central” on page 6 O'FALLON - According to a report given to the City Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee Monday evening, preliminary planning continues for the downtown pavilion project. Director of Parks and Recre- ation, Mary Jeanne Hutchison, gave an informational presenta- tion which included updated renderings of the outside of the pavilion and architectural floor plan. The plans for the exterior include masonry veneer, win- dows and glass, roll-up doors. The appearance of the pavilion is important, indicated Hutchi- son, “to reflect positively on the other downtown businesses An artist's rendering of the proposed pavilion to be built in Downtown O'Fallon as part of the Destination O'Fallon project. and what they’ve done with the (Submitted Photo) front of their establishments and so as time goes on we can the hotel/motel tax for tourism-related to allow for parking spaces closer to Vine flow that whole area.” projects. Street. Current lot renderings have all the The bid process is expected to begin To help reduce costs and save money, new parking located on the east side of in March, and will include a variety of op- city staff will be bidding the pavilion the pavilion. tions for the Council to consider to keep parking lot with the new City Hall park- In other news: the project under budget. As part of the ing lot project. The City Hall parking lot • City staff submitted their recom- Destination O’Fallon economic develop- will be located to the west of City Hall. mendation to award the new trash hauler ment plan, the downtown pavilion and The new parking at City Hall is a result contract to Waste Management. Two parking lot were given a budget of $1.5 of the sale of the city property across the bidders, Waste Management and Republic million. Funding for bond payments for street, the old bank property and parking Services, submitted bids for a three-year the project come from the four percent lot. contract with two options years. The ne- increase to the hotel/motel tax that was While speaking favorably regarding the gotiated, first-year rate is $1.60 per month passed in late 2016. City staff projections design and construction of the pavil- lower than the current rate residents are for the upcoming fiscal year estimate ion, Downtown O’Fallon President Sue paying, with no changes in service. If ap- the revenue from the increase alone to Witter, asked the committee to consider proved by Council, the new contract is set be $936,000. The City of O’Fallon uses moving the pavilion further east on the lot to begin April 1, 2018. Just because it's cold outside, doesn't mean it should be inside. Call us today for all your furnace needs! 618-623-4440 Plumbing, Heating & Air