WEST BELLEVILLE PROMOTIONAL MEETING MINUTES
Friday, January 23, 2009
8:00 am – LINDENWOOD UNIVERSITY
In Attendance: Johnnie Anthony, Jim Clindaniel, Mary Jo Foerste, Emily Fultz, Patty Gregory, Carole Hiatt, Gary
Klemme, Todd Lercher, Kathy Mehrmann, James Musgrove, Mary Radcliff, John Reichert, Eric Schauster, Lori
Schwartz, Stan Syzdek, Molly Watkins, Roger Wigginton
Chamber Staff: Kristine Lamons
Call to Order: Roger called the meeting to order at 8:00 am.
Minutes: Jim made a correction on next meeting date – should have been listed as January 23 . Patty made a
correction that Hormonal Happening is February 26 . Jim Clindaniel made a motion to approve the December minutes
with changes. With a second from Carole Hiatt, the minutes were approved.
Storytime Festival: It will be at Lindenwood on March 27 . It will be called a “Festival of Stories”. There are currently
20 storytellers signed up. There will be a fundraiser reception the evening of the 27 . Still finalizing details.
Reception will take place in West Belleville. Tickets will be $40 for the reception and $15 or $20 without the reception.
Ticket money will go to the summer camps that Jim Schneider talked about – two are on the West End (one is
Freedom Drive). This will be an $18,000-$20,000 project – currently at about $14,000 with sponsors, so still looking
for funding. Cost is $500 to sponsor a storyteller. Lindenwood is a major in-kind sponsor. Some other West Belleville
businesses have also come on to sponsor. West Belleville committee has already donated $1000. Patty will email
Kristine a flyer with sponsorship info, so a call for sponsors can go in the Weekly Email Update.
Hormonal Happening: Will take place February 26 at St. Clair Country Club. It is an extended happy hour for women
only. Don Rodgers and Dress Me Up will be doing teen modeling that evening. Looking for vendors that cater to
women - goal is 10-12. Currently have 4 committed (Art on the Square Unique Boutique, Candid Gifts, and 2 artists
with jewelry, scarves, etc…) Roger Wigginton is going to talk to Jeff Leib about supplying jewelry. Patty is still waiting
to hear back from The Abbey. Vendor cost is $100 per table and that money will go to West Belleville. Patty’s
finalizing all details with the Country Club. They’ll do appetizers and desserts from 5-10pm for $10 per person.
Admission will be $20. West Belleville will make $10 from each ticket. May have to go to $25 on ticket if we have to
pay tax & gratuity – Patty will find out from Country Club. There will be a cash bar. Hot Flash Band will be playing.
Memorial Hospital will be sponsoring the band. Patty would also like to have give-aways from some West End
businesses. Would also like to pull 3 ladies out of the audience for makeovers - Patty will talk to West End, Roger will
talk to Salon Whimz and Mary will call Green Apple to do makeovers. Around 6pm three women will be drawn and
each salon will do a makeover (make-up and hair). Can buy tickets at the door, but would like to pre-sell as many as
possible. Patty will run an ad in the News-Democrat. Tickets will be available at Don Rodgers and other vendors.
Patty passed around a sign-up sheet for tickets. Kathy said she can help solicit donations from West Belleville
businesses. Patty will get with Kristine on developing a flyer, so it can go into February’s Newsletter. John Reichert
will check on open billboards and cost.
West Belleville TIF: Eric Schauster said there are currently no set boundaries. Economic Development Resources
who is the city’s consultant (they do all their TIF and enterprise zone work) is currently doing preliminary findings to
see if the area would even qualify. If they think the area qualifies, they will call the area “blighted”. That basically
means the deterioration or dilapidation of property’s, infrastructure lack of ventilation and light, excessive vacancies,
obsolete platting – don’t meet today’s standards, property value going down, etc… Patty’s concerned about the
impression that word “blighted” leaves with the public. Roger was concerned that the BND article came out too early
(before the city’s report was complete) and that the article was written with a very negative tone. Johnnie said that
some areas in the far west end of Belleville are really in need of necessary funds. Roger suggested the Mayor call the
BND in to write a new article about the positive things happening in West Belleville (Memorial Hospital expansion,
Althoff face-lift, etc…). Patty suggested waiting until the TIF is approved before approaching the BND about another
article. Eric explained how a TIF works - said if an area meets the criteria to be a TIF district, there’s a public hearing
where the public can come in to speak for or against, then a joint review board has 30 days to submit a response.
Typically they’re for it. After that it goes to the state. Whatever is being paid in property taxes is frozen at that level to
the different taxing bodies. As taxes go up, anything above that base value goes into the TIF fund which the city uses
for that TIF district (cannot be used in another TIF district). As you make improvements, the assessed value of the
property in that area goes up, so the taxes go up. When the TIF expires, the taxes are redistributed to the taxing
bodies. Currently have 19 TIF districts in Belleville – the most outside of Chicago. Mary Jo suggested having more of
an explanation on TIF on the website. Eric said he would look into it.
Road Trip Projects Update: Todd said they’re still working with the property owners. Everything that was a complaint
has been taken care of - only had to issue one ticket. On the court dates - can attend, but can’t speak unless you’re a
witness. Patty asked if the city could put a form on the website that lists the ordinances and people could make a
complaint report on-line. Todd said he would talk to the director and see what she thinks about it. He said that
currently all the ordinances are listed on the website.
The West Ender: Next edition will come out March 9 . Suggested articles: Hormonal Happening follow-up with
photos. Althoff face-lift and fundraiser, Memorial Hospital expansion, Storytelling Festival and camps, Lindenwood
fundraiser and new welcome center, State Speech Meet at Belleville West, musicals at the high schools, photos of
people’s Art on the Square collections – could be a front cover option. Other front cover option – “West Belleville on
the Move” and show photos of Memorial, Lindenwood, Althoff, and WERC house. Also, highlight Blessed Sacrament
this issue and Queen of Peace next time since Signal Hill and Harmony-Emge have already been highlighted. Future
West Ender additions will come out on…June 9, September 9, November 9. Eric said he could write an article about
the TIF for June’s addition.
West End Wing Fling: Gary Klemme was invited by John Reichert to speak to the group about hosting a chicken wing
festival. Gary has been involved in the Chili Cook-off in Millstadt and this would be fashioned off of that and also a
wing festival in Ohio. Possible location would be in the triangle by Jefferson’s. John said he talked to Matt at the bank
and Jefferson’s and they’re ok with location. Need to work it out with Ace Hardware. Kristine mentioned that the
Fairview Heights Chamber is planning a wing festival at Longacre Park – don’t know date – will check. Gary said since
this is more of a neighborhood event, have kids distribute the flyers. He suggested holding it from 12-5pm on a
Sunday. Buy an armband for $10-$12 then eat for free. Vendors don’t pay a booth fee, just pay a $50 entry fee then
have prize money for top 3 finishers. Goal would be 10-12 vendors. Will need benches and trash barrels. Have beer
be provided by Jefferson’s, then don’t need to worry about liquor license. Restaurants would need to donate the wings
– figure 3 wings per person. John suggested forming a sub-committee to plan the event. Gary and John would co-
chair. Gary said Dennis Keck would also be willing to get involved. Mary Jo said they may want to partner with WERC.
Proceeds would go to WERC and to the West Belleville Committee to plan future events and re-granting. Roger
suggested holding event in late summer – August. Molly suggested putting on flyer where the money is going to –
what projects West Belleville has funded. Lori said she’ll call some of the area restaurants to see the interest level.
Roger asked for the sub-committee to give an update at February’s meeting.
Facebook: John reported that the West Belleville committee now has a Facebook page. Had to setup an email
address…email@example.com. It’s setup where people cannot make comments on the site. Have Hormonal
Happening as an event on there. Emily said in order to be a “friend” with West Belleville, you need to have your own
Facebook page. Kristine asked if “friends” info would be on the West Belleville page like posted photos, etc… Emily
said she thinks the privacy setting takes care of that, but she’ll check. Mary suggested having a seminar to setup
Facebook accounts – possibly after the next meeting from 9-10am. Patty suggested sponsoring a “Facebook Night” at
Lindenwood. John said it would be better to do it within the committee first.
Other: Roger had a couple announcements - February 6 – Ribbon cutting at new firehouse; March 5 – BAH at new
Parks & Rec offices. Johnny had report from zoning meeting – The Faithful Worship Church asked for rezoning to put
a church in the old building on Foley Drive behind Tim & Joe’s.
Next meeting: Friday, February 27 , 2009 at 8am at Lindenwood University.
Lori motioned for adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30am.
Respectfully submitted: Kristine Lamons