Friends & Neighbors,
I hope you have a great Memorial Day. Enjoy our wonderful community, state and nation. Please do remember that our good fortune to be free Americans was won by the sacrifices of generations of American soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and coast guardsmen.
Your City Government has been working on projects that we expect to bear fruit over the upcoming weeks and years. Here is a summary of some of those projects.
BALL PARK RENOVATIONS
The city has a 99 year lease with the Dardenne Athletic Association (DAA) to use the historic Dardenne Ball fields located next to City Hall. Those ball fields have been in use since the early 1950’s. The City took over the management of youth baseball and softball from the DAA in 2016. We have a contract to acquire the full ownership of the ball fields from the DAA and expect to complete the conveyance of title to the City in the near future.
The City also has a contract to buy another 1.92 acres next to the ball fields which will enable us to expand facilities. An architect/engineering firm is developing plans for the expanded facilities and will present those plans to the Board of Aldermen in early July. The final scope and cost of the project has not been determined, pending the presentation of the architect/engineering firm.
At this time we plan for construction to begin in late July or early August of 2020. We do not want to risk delaying the start of spring baseball and we can’t put a construction contract in place in 2019 much before October or November—too late to begin construction this year.
NORTH HANLEY ROAD IMPROVEMENTS
The Board of Aldermen reviewed the preliminary design for the Hanley Road project which calls for widening the street, installing storm sewers, curbs and gutters and sidewalks on both sides of the street from Feise Rd. north to Pleasant Meadow Drive. This project has been publicized for several months and was most recently presented at a public open house on April 4. Owners of two parcels on Hanley object to the taking of some of their front yard for the installation of sidewalks on the west side of Hanley. The Board will review the final plan for this project in the next few months and must then decide whether to continue with the project as it was proposed or to modify it by eliminating some sidewalks. This project is estimated to cost $1.8 million, of which the City pays 10% or $180,000 and federal and county funds pay for the rest.
I-64 OUTER ROADS
The City has joined O’Fallon in requesting county funds to perform an Access Justification Review (AJR) that is the necessary step before requesting federal approval and funding for construction of an outer road system along I-64 between Winghaven Blvd and Rte. 364. Dardenne Prairie’s portion of this project—North Outer Road—calls for an exit and entrance from and to westbound I-64 about mid-way between Winghaven and 364. We envision construction of a roundabout that will enable us to keep Technology Drive a 2-way street. This will create a “front door” to Dardenne Prairie from the Interstate and will spur economic development along Technology.
STUDY OF ACCESS IMPROVEMENT ON RTE. 364
Access to and from Rte. 364 in Dardenne Prairie is very difficult, as you know. Presently, one can access east bound 364 at Technology and at Bryan Rd. One can exit eastbound 364 only at Bryan Rd. One can exit westbound 364 at Bryan Rd and at Henke but access to westbound 364 is available only at Bryan Rd. We are examining a proposed intersection at Technology/Henke that would enable travelers to enter and exit both eastbound and westbound 364. This would be of particular benefit to people who want to get to Dardenne Town Square Shopping Center and nearby destinations.
CITY STREET PAVEMENT REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENTS
This past winter has taken a toll on our city streets. We inspect our streets and rate their condition which determines when we schedule pavement replacement. In the meantime we need to patch potholes to tide us over until the street is ready for slab replacement. We schedule slab replacement based on the amount of revenue we can forecast to be available each year. We have earmarked about $450,000 for slab replacement in the 2019 budget.
SEVEN YEAR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECT ANALYSIS
We were concerned that the number of identified capital projects would exceed our ability to pay for them so we prepared an analysis showing what costs would be incurred for each project from 2019 until the final work on the last project in 2025. We were relieved to see that annual revenue would be sufficient to cover operating expenses AND capital projects in all years except 2020 when we would need to tap reserves. In all other years but one, we would have a sufficient surplus to pursue a substantial number of slab replacement projects on our city streets.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA ORDINANCE
Because of the constitutional amendment approved by the voters last year every city in Missouri must address how it plans to deal with businesses that sell, process, store, or grow marijuana. Our options are constrained by the amendment. We can require such businesses to be located no closer than 1000 feet from any school, church, or day care facility. We are preparing a map of existing facilities so we can determine where a 1000-foot ban would permit a business to actually be opened. There are some other considerations that we can apply when deciding whether to grant a conditional use permit but we are forbidden by law from placing restrictions that are “unduly burdensome.” The Board of Aldermen will address these issues in July or August.
RENAME A PORTION ROUTE N
Does anyone know where 7805 Highway N is located? It is the Marcus Movie Theater at Town Square. Highway N runs nearly the entire width of St. Charles County. Unless you live on Rt. N or have frequent business there you would not know whether the 7800 block of N is located in St. Charles, Cottleville, O’Fallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake St. Louis or points farther west. We are pursuing plans to rename the portion of N from Bryan Rd west to 364 as Town Square Avenue. The purpose is to identify this stretch of Highway N as part of Dardenne Prairie.
The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen is Wednesday, June 5. The workshop opens at 6:00 and the business meeting opens at 7:00. Come see your City Government
“Shine a Light on City Government”
DAVID C. ZUCKER
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO