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Much Discussed at June 5 City Council Meeting

Mayor Pat McMahan awarded Brooklyn Benson with a scholarship from the Noon Lions after she submitted a heartfelt essay on the importance of volunteer work.

Mayor Pat McMahan discussed the Noon Lions giving away a scholarship to a high school student. They received an essay from Brooklyn Benson, who was chosen to receive an unprecedented third scholarship from the Noon Lions. Benson read her essay at the start of the council meeting, discussing the importance of volunteering and assisting non profit organizations.

Mayor McMahan and Councilman Jack Weyant said that while everyone who attended Mascoutah’s Springfest had a great time, it was less than successful due to poor weather.

IDOT resolutions were passed relating to MFT (Motor Tax Fuel) funds for maintenance of streets and highways and the Onyx Drive Reconstruction.

The council approved the adoption of a resolution to the Motor Fuel Tax Maintenance Program beginning May 1, 2023 and ending April 30, 2024. These funds are taken from fuel tax and utilized to repair and renew transportation infrastructure. This means that it would be used to fix roadways.

The Onyx Drive Reconstruction was passed and is meant to repair the length of Illinois Route 4 to Tanzanite Lane. This will alleviate flooding that occurs at this location and will cost roughly $600,000. The money will be sourced from the MFT funding. This will raise the profile of the street and add a curb, gutter and sidewalks on the south side of the street. A ditch section will remain on the north side. The street will have a new aggregate base and asphalt pavement.

Councilman Wallace Battas discussed issues with the Lebanon Street Project, stating that he believes far more of people’s yards have been taken by the project than originally planned. Councilman Battas and Councilman Mike Baker discussed that some people were told that they would not be given any money for easement usage while some were paid money for easement usage. Baker also stated that there has been an ongoing problem with citizens contacting Mascoutah City Hall and that their calls have not been returned. He would like to see this improved. Baker also spoke about gaming revenue taken in by the city from slot machines and that Mascoutah received $254,000 in tax money from these gaming machines in 2022. Baker proposes that the council look further into where that money could go. McMahan stated that they would look into it.

Baker also proposed that the city of Mascoutah institute a $1 fee to park at the Mid America Airport. Currently the city takes an average of 6 cents q day and Baker believes this $1 fee could increase revenue to the city greatly. He also suggested that the in-city RV parking limit of 72 hours is too short and that people should be allowed to park in their own personal driveway from the beginning of Spring until the start of Fall.

Baker also discussed that the grass cutting at the cemetery is outsourced to conserve costs, and that he believes they should outsource the cutting of grass at the park as well. “It wouldn’t hurt just to look at bids to see what it would cost. Maybe just the park or the cemetery and the park combined.”

Mayor McMahan responded stating that the reason the cemetery’s grass cutting was outsourced was due to grave damages caused by non professionals. Baker stated that he believes it would still be worth looking into. 

Mascoutah City Manager Becky Ahlvin stated that she would like to discuss these points from Baker further soon.

City Manager Ahlvin also spoke about the contract with Moran Economic Development to establish a business district. This district would include an additional sales tax of .25 to 1 percent. This business district will have a life of 23 years. The boundary can be adjusted up until a public hearing that will be held on July 17. Moran Economic Development needs to have the mostly finalized boundaries in order to complete the plan documents.

The Mascoutah City Council will meet again on June 19 at 7:00 PM.

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