Lake Saint Louis' proposal to cooperate with neighboring O'Fallon to bring a new Menards store to the area is still alive, even after O'Fallon declined the original idea of revenue sharing between the two cities.
"My board said 'We’re not going to do that'," O'Fallon Mayor Bill Hennessy said. Both Hennessy and O'Fallon City Administrator Keith Riesberg were in attendance at the April 2 Lake Saint Louis board of aldermen meeting, where city officials discussed a new plan.
City Administrator Paul Markworth suggested that the public works directors of both cities sit down and work out a cost for the maintenance of Lake Saint Louis roads that will service the Menards development. (Since the meeting, voters approved the annexations that bring the two roads, Old Highway N and Orf Road, into the city limits.)
Lake Saint Louis Public Works Director Derek Koestel said that they were working on a per lane-mile cost and mentioned a ballpark figure of about $40,000. If both cities agree, that cost would be shared.
"We’d be responsible for maintaining the roads that are bringing revenue to you," Ward 2 Aldermen Karen Vennard said. "In the long run, it’s probably going to benefit all of us. Let’s try to put a cooperative agreement together."
Ward 1 Alderman Ralph Sidebottom and Ward 3 Alderman George Rich expressed their concerns that having Menards there at all would adversely affect businesses in Lake Saint Louis.
"The Municipal League advises cities to take a regional approach," Ward 3 Alderman John Pellerito said. "We’re going to take a risk; they’re going to take a risk. We’re not going to lose any money up front. We can grow this county, this city, their city."
The aldermen eventually agreed to have the new shared road maintenance plan taken back to the O'Fallon board.
Lake Saint Louis Mayor Mike Potter nodded at the O'Fallon officials. "Now you've got the hard part," he said.