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Prop 1 passes in O’Fallon

The Citizens for the O’Fallon Police Station and Courthouse Committee (from left) Richard Rowe, Holly Murray, Bill Fath, Jen Thomas, Karlyn Cox and Jim Frain with Mayor Bill Hennessy.

The Citizens for the O’Fallon Police Station and Courthouse Committee (from left) Richard Rowe, Holly Murray, Bill Fath, Jen Thomas, Karlyn Cox and Jim Frain with Mayor Bill Hennessy.

New Police Station to become reality

O’Fallon’s Proposition 1 was approved April 7 with 60 percent of residents voting for it saying “aye.”

Passage of Prop 1 now will allow the city to issue $28 million in general obligation bonds to fund the construction and furnishing of a new police station and courthouse. The police station will cost approximately $28,670,000, and will be funded through a property tax increase of $.0458 per $100 of assessed valuation, or $17.40 per year for a resident who owns a $200,000 home.

O’Fallon City Administrator Bonnie Therrien said that throughout April and May the city will receive and review proposals for architectural design firms. Meetings also will be held with financial advisors to start the process of acquiring the bonds needed for the station.

In May, the city will review the shortlisted design firms, and in June-July the contract will be negotiated and brought before the council. She said it will be at least 2016 before the doors to the new police station open. The police department will remain at its current location at city hall until the new station is completed.

“Once we get the design firm on board then we will have a more specific agenda of when that will all get done,” Therrien said.

The proposition’s successful passage was credited, in part, to the efforts of the Citizens for the O’Fallon Police Station and Courthouse committee, which  carried the message that Prop 1 was needed in O’Fallon.

“I was thrilled,” Jim Frain, chairman of the citizens’ committee, said about the election results. “We put a lot of effort into it, we really did work hard.”

At the April 8 council meeting, the citizens’ committee received a commendation for its efforts from Mayor Bill Hennessy.

“I just want to thank the residents of O’Fallon for passing Prop 1,” Hennessy said. “It is a very big need for the city. I want to personally, from myself and the council, thank you guys for a job very well done.”

Therrien also thanked the citizens’ committee and voters on behalf on the city and Police Chief Roy Joachimstaler.

“I’m giving the chief two weeks to pack up and get out,” Therrien joked.

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