Fuemmeler voices concern with Fox Hollow Subdivision at council meeting

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

Fox Hollow Subdivision was once again the topic of discussion Monday night at the Boonville City Council meeting.

Although no action was taken Monday night, Boonville City Administrator Kate Fjell said the council will vote on the next meeting on December 6. However, the discussion on the Fox Hollow Subdivision wasn’t without opposition.

Danny Fuemmeler was at the meeting to express his concern with the development as it is currently proposed.

Fuemmeler said on a letter dated October 28, Fjell provided the cost to the city (and taxpayers) in the amount of $1.1 million for sewer, water and streets inside the developer’s property should the Fox Hollow development move forward as proposed. He said the source of these funds were listed as ARPA funds, gaming, CIP, and parks and stormwater.

“First and foremost, why would the city be subsidizing a developer, moreover, why this developer over another?” Fuemmeler said. “There is nothing that would prevent a Phillip Imhoff or Mike Esser from walking through those doors demanding equal or higher subsidies to fund their developments. Then, there is a park that the developer wants the city to purchase the land for, 15 acres for a total of $300,000, $20,000 per acre. This is existing farmland that is not worth that. In addition to the cost of the land there is also a park planning fee of $25,000 and park development of $350,000-plus that was listed in this same letter. That is a $675,000 park, which is simply outrageous and fiscally irresponsible. Then, there is the general upkeep of another park in Boonville, which I would contest that parks and rec will struggle to maintain without more financial backing.”

Fuemmeler also questioned whether there wasn’t a better use of ARPA funds. He said this seems extremely odd to line the pockets of one developer  instead of promoting or encouraging ideas where COVID hit the hardest such as small business, nonprofits, or possibly use to improve efficiency of public health or economic relief programs.

Third, Fuemmeler said the last time he spoke before the city council the current lots available were 143 in the city limits and Cooper County combined. He said this included Timberlakes, Whitetail, and Silvercrest just to mention a few. “In addition, most recently, Mr. Imhoff is building a 28 subdivision home off Santa Fe Trail, and if Fox Hollow were instead developed on 3-5 acre lots that would add an additional 40-plus lots bringing the total to over 200 available lots in and around Boonville,” Fuemmeler said. “I’m sure these numbers have changed slightly but it shows that there is available housing in Boonville and will continue to grow based on free market principles.”

In addition to the discussion on the Fox Hollow Subdivision, Fjell said the council also heard a first reading on the Thurman Construction Company and a fourth reading approving the project and preliminary site for Fox Hollow Subdivision. She said the council decided to table the discussion to the next meeting, which all ties together with the development out on Highway 87.

In other business, the council approved to allow chickens in the city limits under the conditions of the revised ordinance. Fjell said the city is putting together a flyer and a permit application and will start taking applications on December 1.

The council also voted 6-1 to approve an option for easement agreement with Robinson Real Estate Easement Company, LLC. Fjell said Robinson Real Estate Easement Company, LLC asked if the city would give them a permanent easement for a billboard sign, and in exchange for that they would build the city a monument sign.

Meanwhile, in new business, the council heard a first reading with COMO Electric Cooperative Franchise Agreement, which mirrors the agreement the city made recently with Ameren UE. Fjell said the 20-year agreement that allows a cooperative to potentially request to provide services in an area that might have an overlap with an existing provider if their services are also in the area. “There are lots of places in Boonville, where COMO Electric and Ameren are kind of right next to each other,” Fjell said. “The reason we want that franchise agreement is because we can collect revenue off of that, so we want to get the revenue if they’re going to be providing services here.”

The council also approved a temporary lease agreement with Fisher Concrete Co., LLC. Fjell said Fisher owns several plants in the area and just recently received the bid for the Rocheport bridge on I-70. She said Fisher Concrete partnered with Columbia Ready Mix, who also owns Boonville Ready Mix. “Basically, because of the amount of concrete that they are going to need at certain times, they decided that they didn’t think they could do their regular business plus that concrete work, so they wanted to set up a temporary concrete plant and the best place for them was at Highway 87. They're going to set up a temporary plant there for the next two years just to service the Rocheport bridge.”

Fjell said the agreement with Fisher Concrete to set up at Highway 87 was $2,000 a month, which the city will take in credit to be able to utilize for projects.

In other news, the council considered a resolution approving a contract for Remsel Excavating for Boone Point water line bore and tie-in. Fjell said the water line is on the wrong side of the road, so the city will need to bore under Ashley Road to their property line.

Boonville City Clerk Amber Davis also announced at the meeting that candidate filing is coming up on December 7 through December 28.

The next Boonville City Council meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 6, starting at 7 p.m.