O'Fallon Weekly February 20, 2019

Wednesday February 20, 2019 Lady Panther Bowlers win first team State Championship for OTHS Page 12 Vol. 4, No. 44 $1.00 Business owners fear impact of wage increase By Annabelle Knef Weekly Reporter O’FALLON - A minimum wage increase to $15 is now a reality for Illinoisans, as Governor J.B. Pritzker signed it into law on Tue- sday — meanwhile, local business owners fear for their livelihood. Josh Martie, owner of Creative Landscapes in Fairview Heights, said the reality of the minimum wage increase could mean a poten- tial shut down for his business. “The reality of the $15 per hour increase would mean we would have to raise our labor pricing dramatically or shut down,” Martie said. “I believe our material costs would have to increase as well to compensate for the increase my suppliers would take on with the increase of their labor force.” Martie said over the last couple of years, he has done research and planning for what he thought was thea potential of a minimum wage increase. He said his business can try to adapt to the new law but the reality of the minimum wage in- crease “would affect everything.” “Employees who now make $15 per hour are going to want a pay raise so they are not making minimum-wage,” he said. Martie said about the tax credit offered to small businesses to compensate for the increase in labor costs: “I don’t think that will be enough” In This Edition Calendar..................................................3 News................................................... 4-7 Law & Order............................................8 Education............................................ 9-10 Health & Wellness ���������������������������������� 11 Sports................................................12-13 Community............................................. 14 Milestones.............................................. 15 Vantage Point......................................... 16 Lifestyle.................................................. 17 Fun & Games.......................................... 18 Marketplace........................................... 19 Bon Appétit............................................20 Water Leak Detecting Gas Lines l Back Flow Testing l See “Minimum Wage Impact” on page 7 (Submitted Photo) Confusion surrounds charity roadblock at State and Lincoln at City Council meeting By Martha Stoffel Weekly Reporter O'FALLON - A request for charity roadblocks held at the intersections along State Street brought some confusion at the city council meeting Tuesday night. A request came before the council from the O’Fallon Kiwanis Club. This was the third request since the begin- ning of the year brought to the council regarding dates for a roadblock for the club. Their original request came at the January 7th council meeting for Friday, March 15 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 16 from 8:00 a.m. to noon at the inter- sections of State Street and Smiley, as well as State Street and Lincoln. During that meeting, the council vo- ted to amended the request to remove the Friday date, citing concerns for in- creased traffic in downtown O’Fallon during the time when residents are trying to get home from work and pick-up children from after care. The second request came at the following council meeting, January 22nd, for a roadblock on Saturday, September 21st from 8:00 a.m. to noon at both in- tersections, with an additional request for Saturday, October 5th. The request presented at Tuesday’s meeting was to amend their prior approval to include Friday, Septem- ber 20th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at both intersections and remove the October 5th date, upon approval of adding September 20th. Ward 4 Alderman John Dro- let questioned the timeline for the amendment, stating a request for an Water Heaters l Faucets Garbage Disposals “If the state would visit our work compensation insurance costs maybe it would allow a small landscaping business take on this labor increase,” Martie said. “We already pay the highest work compensation insurance in the country.” “If minimum-wage goes up work compensation goes up. My payroll will double. It might work fine in the Chicago area but it won’t work for Southern Illinois. I don’t believe people realize how expensive things will get. We will no longer be able to compete with the box stores and the guy in a truck,” Martie continued. Josh Martie, owner of Creative Landscapes, fears the impact of the Scott Federhofer, owner of Ho- minimum wage increase will shut his business down. l l Toilets Sump Pumps Video Camera Inspection Tankless Water Heaters l Drain Cleaning High-Velocity Water Jetting $50 OFF ANY SERVICE Save Time and Money 618-624-1700 With a minimum of $200 purchase. Coupon must be presented at time of service. Cannot be used with any other offer. This coupon does not expire. (OFW) 5903 Old Collinsville Road, Fairview Heights, IL 62208 See “City Council” on page 7