City continues pursuit of land swap, new plan emerges for Industrial ‘realignment’

Planned ordinance rescinding prior document tabled; aldermen hopeful both roadways remain in service for LSC expansion

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 5/13/20

Owensville aldermen on Monday tabled plans to rescind an ordinance adopted  April 30, replacing it with an updated version, but will now — hopefully — adopt a revised document next …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

City continues pursuit of land swap, new plan emerges for Industrial ‘realignment’

Planned ordinance rescinding prior document tabled; aldermen hopeful both roadways remain in service for LSC expansion

Posted

Owensville aldermen on Monday tabled plans to rescind an ordinance adopted  April 30, replacing it with an updated version, but will now — hopefully — adopt a revised document next Monday once a land swap is completed.

“That’s the ultimate goal,” said Mayor John Kamler at the conclusion of the special meeting — called to adopt the revised ordinance rescinding the one approved previously. But, that did not happen.

There are quite a few moving parts and aldermen were scheduled to adopt a revised ordinance which would approve the vacation of a portion of both Springfield Road and Industrial Drive to allow for the planned LSC Communications expansion.

Aldermen have been negotiating a land swap with local landowner John Paul Quick to acquire his property to create a bypass road around the proposed plant expansion site to connect Springfield with Old Highway 19 north of the old Rock Island railroad bed.

That is still in play but the new twist is an effort to create a new stretch of Industrial Drive — possibly using grant funding — to keep the western end of that roadway open to local truck and public traffic. This plan was referred to as a “realignment” of Industrial and would, if all pieces of this puzzle come together, eliminate the need to vacate that section of roadway.

So, instead, aldermen on Monday tabled the revision to the ordinance.

Ed Sluys, the city’s attorney with Curtis, Heinz, Garrett & O’Keefe in St. Louis, joined aldermen via telephone on Monday, and told the full board “nothing’s really changed until we know about Industrial Drive,” when asked if he had spoken with the attorney representing Quick.

He had not, Sluys told aldermen, but the two have exchanged messages and were expected to talk this week. Kamler was working to schedule a meeting — possibly today (Wednesday) — with LSC management and a grant writer.

He told aldermen the city will seek a Community Development Block Grant which they hope will allow for the realignment of Industrial. Work may progress on the building project without closing Springfield for now, Kamler told aldermen noting he had spoken with two local excavators.

The city’s contracted engineer is also working up new drawings to reduce the need for land from Quick from a previously estimated half-acre to as little as a quarter-acre.

“Let’s put off the ordinance until we have a clearer idea what direction we’re traveling,” Sluys told aldermen.

He agreed with aldermen that any plan keeping Industrial open was “viable” and agreed to be available for their next scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 18.

Kamler said he hopes the board will be ready to finalize the agreements with Quick and the city and between the city and LSC Communications by Monday. That includes the “possible solution” to have an Industrial Drive realignment plan in place.

If both proposals reach fruition, and all the puzzle pieces come together, there will be a bypass road keeping Springfield open to Old 19 and a realigned Industrial to maintain access into the industrial park off of Springfield.

“I think we’d all be happy if it did,” Kamler said.

Ordinance No. 1328 tabled

The board’s special May 11 meeting, scheduled for open discussion, was intended for the approval of Ordinance No. 1328.  The special meeting followed a budget committee workshop on park funding and spending for fiscal year 2020-21 which begins July 1.

The board intended to rescinded an ordinance (No. 1327, approved April 30) which would have eliminated language about conditions spelled out in a cooperative agreement between the city, Quick, and LSC Communications. It would have also have authorized vacating the sections of Springfield Road and Industrial Drive to allow for the printing plant’s expansion as planned.

The new ordinance, which was to supersede Ordinance No. 1327 as adopted April 30, added a portion of “Industrial Drive.” An earlier version of the ordinance did not list Industrial.

Eliminated from the new ordinance was language in No. 1327 addressing a proposal which has yet been finalized between the city, Quick, and LSC Communications.

Also eliminated from the new ordinance was an exhibit listed as “B” in the original ordinance. The exhibit was an aerial photograph of the proposed bypass road’s location in relation to the existing roadway and the LSC parking lot.

So, for now, Ordinance No. 1328 is on hold. A revised version could be scheduled for approval as early as May 18.

Aldermen are scheduled to begin the evening with a 6 p.m. budget committee workshop to review salaries for all city employees to determine how potential raises would impact the spending plan for the new fiscal year.

Landowner meets in closed session

There have been numerous closed meetings in recent weeks in an attempt by aldermen and the mayor to avoid closing both Springfield and Industrial.

No votes were made in a special May 6 closed session where aldermen met from 7:30 to 9:45 p.m.

Local landowner John Paul Quick joined the full board for an in-person discussion from 7:45 to 8:35 p.m., according to minutes from the meeting.

Sluys, joined aldermen via telephone. On behalf of the Board of Aldermen, Sluys issued a statement through the city’s clerk, saying, “The city is still working with other parties to finalize a mutually agreeable solution.”

Bypass plan still in place

The city will construct the Springfield  bypass road. LSC has pledged fill materials for the new roadbed construction. LSC is scheduled to allow the city to construct a portion of the new roadway across an existing portion of the printer’s parking lot to connect with Old 19.

Creation of a realigned west end of Industrial would, apparently, eliminate a portion of the initial plan which had LSC constructing an access haul road for Jahabow Industries to connect its plant off of Industrial with their facilities off of Springfield and East Springfield.

LSC owns the ground between the two locations which are situated about a city block apart. Trees were removed by Jeff Blankenship on Monday on a portion of that ground to allow access for surveying on the new proposal, according to a public works employee.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment