4/21/2003 10:57:05 AM
These may be tough economic times for many communities in our region. However, that's not the case for a Metro East village. Shiloh may just have the secret to success that many in the area are seeking.
Its name is rooted in the Middle East of ancient times. However, it's character rests firmly on a bucolic foundation. Symbols of that rustic lifestyle abound as does the village trademark, the water tower, visible from almost everywhere. 50 years ago, less than 500 people called Shiloh home. However, this is a new day for this village.
Last year alone, more than 230 new homes were built here, helping to swell the population to more than 10,000. That was made possible by the foresight of city leaders who in twenty years incorporated enough land to increase the village's size ten times over. Much of that land once provided farmers harvests among the richest in the country, now ripe for the picking by developers.
One of the things that we are very concerned in our community is that we don't just pave over everything; that we keep what has made Shiloh so dear to us. Mayor Jim Vernier is a lifelong Shiloh resident and grew up on one of those family farms. We welcome the growth, but it's going to be planned growth. We don't anticipate just allowing anything into our community.
Vernier stresses they know they need green space, so developers must pay a $500 fee for each lot with the money going to park development.
Shiloh also realizes it needs money to pay for services the new residents will require, like enlarging its current police force of 12 officers.
I think the accessibility of the store is going be a huge win, said Vernier.
Location and accessibility are the main reasons why Shiloh was selected as the first Illinois location for a Dierbergs. The anchor of a commercial complex that will eventually spread more than four miles along Interstate 64.
Shiloh is less than 20 miles from downtown St. Louis by car, but in keeping step with a growing community, the transportation options for residents will grow when this metro-link station opens in June.
Shiloh's proximity to Scott Air Force base is also viewed as a plus. However, Shiloh's believes it's future will be determined by its respect of its past.
Shiloh mayor Jim Vernier says they have also learned valuable lessons by observing mistakes made by some of their neighbors.