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St. Charles aldermen OK revised agreement with school district

Published: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 6:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles school board’s unwillingness to uphold an agreement to split the cost of traffic improvements near St. Charles North High School has damaged its relationship with the St. Charles City Council, based on comments Aldermen made Monday in committee.

“It concerns me how we deal with them in the future,” 5th Ward Alderman Ed Bessner said.

“Very much so,” 4th Ward alderman Jo Krieger added.

The City Council on April 1 approved an intergovernmental agreement with St. Charles School District 303 that stated the parties would split about $500,000 in construction costs for intersection improvements – a traffic light and right-turn lane – at North High School and Red Gate Road. City administration believed District 303 would do the same, but the school board rejected the agreement in May.

Some school board members said the improvements were the city’s responsibility and that St. Charles made the mistake of not installing a traffic light when it built Red Gate Bridge, which opened in December.

The city awarded a construction contract based on prior discussions with the district, City Council’s approval and the desire to have a traffic signal running in time for the start of the next school year. Work on the project has already begun.

Thursday, a school board committee recommended the district fund the right-turn lane at a cost of $125,000, leaving the rest of the $570,000 total bill – which includes professional fees – with the city.

The Government Operations Committee on Monday approved the revised agreement. Only 2nd Ward Alderman Rita Payleitner voted no.

“I think the school district is at least halfway responsible,” she said, noting the need for a traffic control device on school days.

In other news, the City Council voted 6-3 to sell city-owned firearms to two licensed firearms dealers and to destroy two weapons, an Intra-Tec 9 and an UZI pistol. Krieger, Bessner and 5th Ward alderman Maureen Lewis voted no. The city expects to receive $5,875 for the weapons.

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