O'Fallon Weekly July 11, 2018

Marching Panthers named champions at VP Fair Parade Page 9 Council to put restrictions on drone usage Wednesday July 11, 2018 Vol. 4, No. 12 $1.00 O’Fallon begins water line revival project By Nick Miller Weekly Editor O’FALLON - The City Council’s Public Safety committee took action and gave early approval to an ordinance regu- lating the use of drones and unmanned aircraft within city limits at their meeting Monday evening. The ordinance states that the operator must keep the devi- ce within visual line of sight. Alternatively, the device can be within visual sight of an observer as long as the observer is in communication with the operator. Additionally, devices cannot be operated over persons unprotected by shelter, moving vehicles, or within 25 feet of any person, building, or vehicle. Operators also must obtain the permission of the owner of any property, public utility, or appropriate governmental entity to operate a device within 25 feet or over any sensitive infrastructure, such as power stations, utility lines, water tre- atment facilities, correctional facilities, streets or highways with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or more, government facilities, or public utility facilities. It will also be unlawful under this ordinance to knowingly operate a device over the private property of another without the property owner’s consent. The use of unmanned aircraft will be limited to dayli- ght-only operations, starting at 30 minutes before official sunrise and ending within 30 minutes after sunset. In other news… The Public Safety committee also gave preliminary approval to a resolution continuing the partnership between O’Fallon and Fairview Heights for 911 Dispatch staffing. Currently, O’Fallon provides 911 service to Fairview Hei- ghts, at the expense of Fairview Heights. The agreement between the two cities came about after the state mandated the reduction of 911 centers and O’Fallon and Fairview Heights consolidated into one dispatch center. All items discussed during the Public Safety committee meeting will go before the full City Council for approval at their next meeting on Monday, July 16. In This Edition Calendar.................................................. 2 News.................................................... 3-7 Law & Order............................................ 8 Community............................................... 9 Health & Wellness............................... 10-11 Sports................................................ 12-13 Milestones...............................................14 Vantage Point..........................................15 Lifestyles..................................................16 Fun & Games...........................................17 Marketplace.......................................18-20 Crews work to repair a water line break at the intersetction of State and Lincoln in November, 2017. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller) By Annabelle Knef Weekly Reporter O'FALLON - Mayor Herb Roach said the City of O’Fallon has run into problems with water line breaks due to a number of issues that haven’t been addressed in the last few decades - until now. Roach said that the Public Works department director, Jeff Taylor, has po- inted out that aging lines and inaccurate mapping are big challenges. “I had been out probably four or five times with them and watched what was going on, and there are a couple of things,” Roach said. “Our drawings are not as accurate as we would like them to be, so they aren’t accurately showing where all of the shut- off valves are supposed to be.” Roach said that once workers do loca- te shut- off valves, a lot of times they are under one or two coats of asphalt that have to be dug through. “They have to dig down under a couple sheets of asphalt," he said.  Another problem that the city runs into, according to Roach, is that some shut-off valves haven’t been opened or closed for up to 25 to 30 years. "They are rusted or corroded and when they go to shut them off, they bust off," he said. "So, they have not only one break, they have a second one where (workers) have to come in and do another fix.”  Roach said while all of this is taking place, there is a crew of six men stan- ding around and waiting for the water to be shut off before they can do anything.  O’Fallon Director of Public Works Jeff Taylor said that the city hired two additional Water Department mainte- nance workers. “These positions were proposed in the 2019 Fiscal Year Budget that was approved by City Council,” Taylor said. “The two additional personnel will assist in the implementation of a valve and fire hydrant exercising program,” he said. “Their role is to go out and make sure where these shut-off valves are located and make sure that they work properly,” Roach said. Roach said that if the valves need to be replaced, the city will replace them, “and not just when there is an emergen- cy.”  Roach said that it would be preferable for the team to be replacing valves in See "Water Lines" on page 7 Work at Green Mount Road, Central Park Drive intersection to last until November For the O’Fallon Weekly O'FALLON - Work began Tuesday at the intersection of Green Mount Road and Central Park Drive that will improve traffic flow. The intersection will re- main open during constructi- on, but lane restrictions will be in place periodically. The contractor is required to have all lanes open from 4 - 6 p.m., each day. It is anticipated construction will be substantially complete in November 2018, weather permitting. “We kindly ask that our residents be patient and considerate during this improvement project,” said Mayor Herb Roach. “Once completed, this intersection will be safer and improve the flow of traffic.” The work will consist of adding additional turn lanes, storm sewer inst allation, traffic signal improve- ments, and adding pedestrian accom- modations. The work will be completed by DMS Contracting, Inc.