O’Fallon Talks Plans for New Civic Park, Justice Center and Possible Bond Issue to Fund

City staff said that the earliest the bond issue could go to the citizens for a vote would be in the November election.

A bond issue to fund three city facility projects may come before O’Fallon voters as early as the November 2013 election.

O'Fallon City staff and council members discussed the possibility during Thursday’s workshop, along with updates on the projects which include, a new Civic Hall, justice center and developments in O'Day Park.

The facility planning process was a priority in O'Fallon's 2012 Strategic Plan. Since September, city staff met to plan the next steps and develop a potential timeline for the process of each project.

Civic Hall/Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center

The city council decided last April, that the condemned Civic Hall should be replaced and not renovated.

O’Fallon Director of Parks and Recreation Cindy Springer said on Thursday, city staff is now working with Jacobs Engineering on the scope of services.

The firm will help city staff decide the best location in Civic Park to build the facility and take a look at the possibility of expanding or enclosing portions of Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center.

O’Day Park:

O’Day park is a 57-acre property off of Hwy DD on other side of Interstate 64. The City of O’Fallon purchased a three-acre parcel to access the park in 2007.

In 2010, the city completed the Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which includes an easement agreement with the adjacent developer to work on the parkland for mitigation.

Springer said the easement has expired, but staff will keep the mitigation boundaries when time comes for construction.

She explained another area must be improved, because developing the adjacent property would destroy 9,000 linear feet of creek beds.  

During the 2013 budget process, the city council asked the parks department to look into opportunities for building a lodge in O’Day park

The O’Fallon parks department and SWT Design are working on proposal to submit in the next few weeks.

Springer said they will determine if a lodge can be incorporated in the park and still maintain the mitigation boundaries. The next steps are preparing conceptual designs and hosting a public session to hear what residents would like to see in the lodge.

“Our goal is to get through all of this so by the end of June we know exactly what we want to do and we have a very firm cost estimate so that we can move forward in November,” Cindy said. “The final design and any construction phase would not even be started until funding is in place.”

New Justice Center

As part of the 2013 budget, the city council approved a study and design for a new justice center and municipal court facility.

Staff sent out Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) on Feb. 6 to find qualified firms to conduct a needs assessment study and conceptual design, with responses due Feb. 25.

O’Fallon Police Chief Roy Joachimstaler said Thursday the selected firm would begin by April 1. 

Plans Outlined in RFQ: 

  • Analyze the needs of the police department and determine the square footage required for a stand-alone center to meet the needs of the city for the next 25 years.
  • Design including a municipal court room with holding cells. 
  • A two-car drive-thru Salli-port with access to the jail and a secured  cage allowing officers to store equipment. 

Additional features may include:

  • A new city animal kennel with dog runs and long term quarantine capabilities.  
  • Covered parking for employees, training facilities to include a training room/auditorium. 
  • Eight lane indoor range, and training room plus armory

Timeline for Three Projects: 

  • Feb-March: Select all three firms involved in projects/RFQ for citizen survey 
  • April-June: Results/Facility Planning/Design/Operation Plan 
  • June-August: Take results and develop cost analysis, work with finance and develop ballot language due to St. Charles County by Aug. 27. 

"Assuming we were moving forward with that date, September and October would be involved with educating the public about what we're trying to do, the cost and benefits, and ultimately the Nov. 5 election date would be the earliest we could move forward," O'Fallon Director of Public Relations Tom Drabelle said. 


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