Friends and neighbors,
Today I am reporting on the Board of Aldermen meetings on January 16 and February 6, 2019. Both meetings included extensive discussions of several plans and projects we are pursuing in 2019.
CITY PARK BALL FIELDS
The City is proceeding with its plans to upgrade the ball fields next to City Hall. The Board approved the selection of Cochran Engineering to serve as Construction Manager and to assist the City in selecting a design firm to prepare the construction plans. The ball fields were built in the early 1950’s by the Dardenne Athletic Association and have served the community for the past 70 years. They need some improvements if we are to continue to offer recreation league baseball and softball for the youth of our community, as well as other activities on the fields.
I-64 OUTER ROADS
An engineering study of the concept to build a north and south outer road along I -64 between Winghaven Blvd. and Rte. 364 is nearing completion. The concept being proposed would include access from and to west bound I-64, connecting to Technology Drive mid-way between Winghaven and 364. This would be a direct gateway into Dardenne Prairie from the Interstate Highway. Our preferred concept keeps Technology Drive a two way street. A corresponding south outer road would be built on the O’Fallon/Lake St. Louis side of the interstate and would support the proposed Caledonia development in O’Fallon at Rt. DD. Dardenne Prairie participated with O’Fallon in funding the study. A more detailed engineering study will be required to support applications for federal, state, and county funds to build the project. This outer road project is a very high priority for Dardenne Prairie.
RTE. 364 INTERCHANGE NEAR TECHNOLOGY DRIVE
The City obtained funding from the County Road Board to hire an engineering firm to study the concept of building an interchange along Rte. 364 near Technology Drive that would give people easy access to and from east and west bound 364 near Technology Drive and the Dardenne Prairie Town Square Shopping Center. The completion of the Page Avenue Extension (Rte. 364) removed direct access to west bound I-64 and made it much harder for people to get to and from Town Square.
HANLEY ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
This project includes widening and replacement of pavement, addition of curbs, gutters and storm sewers and sidewalks along Hanley Road north of Feise Road. We have preliminary engineering well along. It was necessary to engage an Archeologist to survey the project area in order to comply with a requirement from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. We have not received a report, so we don’t know if they found anything of interest. Next step is to hire a person or company to acquire Right of Way and Easements. I don’t expect construction to begin until 2020.
STUMP ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
The Board agreed to submit an application for funding to renovate Stump Road between Feise and Rte. N. The project would include pavement widening to add turn lanes, replacement of failed pavement, the additions of storm sewers, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks. Some residents of Dardenne Acres attended the meeting to express opposition, particularly due to the possible impact to their trees and shrubs that may be disturbed by the installation of sidewalks where none presently exist. The renovation of Stump Road has been on the City’s project list for 15 or 20 years. It is getting attention now because of concern for the safety of drivers and pedestrians who sometimes share the road due to the absence of sidewalks. We won’t know until at least late August if the City will receive funding from East West Gateway (Federal money) or the County Road Board (County money). The Board has debated this project for at least 2 years because of the cost. We estimate that only putting in a side walk on the east side of Stump Rd and making no other improvements would cost the City over $300,000. A project that would qualify for federal and county funds would entail the complete renovation of the street and addition of new sidewalks for about the same amount of City funds as the single sidewalk project. If funding is approved there will be public meetings to discuss the project in detail. We have, in the past, reduced the scope of highway projects after considering public input.
AGREEMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN DEVELOPMENT OF THE GREENWAY MASTER PLAN FOR ST. CHARLES COUNTY
St. Charles County and the Cities of St. Charles, St. Peters, O’Fallon, Cottleville, Weldon Spring, Dardenne Prairie, Lake St. Louis, and Wentzville are joining the Great Rivers Greenway in developing a master plan to connect trails throughout the County and Cities. This is a very long-term project.
DARDENNE PRAIRIE PARKS AND RECREATION MASTER PLAN
Planning Design Studio is wrapping up the Parks and Rec Master Plan. It should be presented to the Board of Aldermen by February 20th. It will be available for public review on line soon thereafter.
REPLACEMENT OF THE TELEPHONE SYSTEM AT CITY HALL
The telephone system in City Hall is operates on a software system that is so old that it can only be accessed by a service technician using a laptop with the Windows 98 operating system. Software patches, troubleshooting/diagnostics, and other service calls rely on that obsolete and vulnerable Windows system. One day the phone system will go down and we will not be able to access it to make repairs. City Hall would out of touch for at least 3 weeks. The Board agreed to replace the existing system now with a voice over internet protocol (VOIP) system using
up-to-date equipment and software. Installation of the new system should be completed by the end of February.
UPCOMING PROJECTS AND EVENTS
The City mailed brochures to every household in Dardenne Prairie listing upcoming parks and rec activities, including the Easter Egg Hunt on April 20, monthly senior events, several bus trips to local attractions, an overnight trip to Springfield, MO, and our list of summer concerts. The same information is available on the City’s website- www.dardenneprairie.org. Registration for Spring Youth Baseball & Softball is open until the third week of February. Games are scheduled April to July.
The St. Charles County Mayors’ Charity Ball is set for April 13 at the St. Charles Convention Center. Proceeds go to local charities selected each year by the Mayors. This year’s event features a “Dancing with the Mayors” competition. In a moment of inattention I volunteered to learn the Tango. Turns out that is not easy. For more information and to buy tickets check out https://e.givesmart.com/events/bOa/.
The next Board of Alderman meeting is set for Wednesday, February 20 at 6:00 PM at Dardenne Prairie City Hall. There will be no meeting this week of the Planning & Zoning Commission but we expect to meet on March 13 at 7:00 PM, also at City Hall.
“Shine a Light on City Government”
DAVID C. ZUCKER
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO