Aldermen vacate portions of Springfield, Industrial for LSC expansion; ‘land swap’ negotiation continues

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 5/6/20

Owensville aldermen in a special virtual Zoom meeting Thursday voted unanimously to vacate the northern end of Springfield Road and the western end of Industrial Drive to accommodate a plant …

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Aldermen vacate portions of Springfield, Industrial for LSC expansion; ‘land swap’ negotiation continues

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Owensville aldermen in a special virtual Zoom meeting Thursday voted unanimously to vacate the northern end of Springfield Road and the western end of Industrial Drive to accommodate a plant expansion planned by LSC Communications.

Planning and Zoning Commissioner, meeting immediately before the special Board of Aldermen session, had unanimously recommended the city grant the vacation request. The special meeting of the advisory group was also held remotely via Zoom meeting and included two rezoning requests for properties being reclassified from R-1 to R-1A (small houses). Both of those requests received recommendations for approval from P&Z commissioners.

At least 30 people logged into the public hearing. City records of the meeting include public comments submitted prior to the meeting and at least eight area citizens during it including support and concerns about closing the thoroughfare linking town traffic north onto Old Highway 19 as an access to the schools. LSC Communications submitted a petition signed by 268 citizens expressing support for their building plan which will move forward on the two sections of roadways being closed.

Following the public hearing April 28, aldermen convened a special session and  approved three ordinances including the two for rezoning requests (Nos.1325 and 1326). The third, No. 1327, vacates a “portion of Springfield Road and Industrial Drive” as advertised in public notices printed in The Republican and posted to the city’s website cityofowensville.com.

Aldermen Rob Borgmann, Ward 2, Cathy Lahmeyer, Ward 1, and Kevin McFadden, Ward 1, made the respective motions for the three readings of the ordinance. Denise Bohl, Ward 2, also vote in favor on the roll call vote.

The city’s elected aldermen are continuing efforts to negotiate what the mayor called a “land swap” with owners of property immediate west of the printing plant’s facility in an effort to construct a bypass road around the site to keep Springfield connected with Old Highway 19.

Aldermen met Monday in person in a closed session to continue that discussion but no votes were taken, according to City Clerk Bobbi Limberg. She said the closed session, which began shortly after 7:30 p.m., included about 15 to 20 minutes of discussion on a scheduled “personnel matter.” The remainder of the closed session which ended at 9:15 p.m. included their scheduled “real estate” matter which was also scheduled as allowed by state statute.

The city’s attorney, Ed Sluys with Curtis, Heinz, Garrett & O’Keefe out of St. Louis, was the only other participant in the closed session, according to the records. He joined the aldermen via a telephone conference call.

Limberg said Mayor John Kamler had requested another closed session be scheduled for tonight (Wednesday) immediately following a scheduled 6 p.m. budget workshop. The workshop will be held in person at City Hall.

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