City of Washington Sign

By Joe Barker

Assistant Managing Editor

The Washington City Council is scheduled to vote on a rezoning request that would pave the way for a new 85-unit apartment complex.

Because of Presidents Day, the meeting will be held Tuesday night instead of Monday. The meeting will be at 7 p.m.

A rezoning request for an 85-unit apartment complex at the old ernational Shoe Factory site was supported Monday night by the city’s planning and zoning commission. That recommendation was passed along to the city council.

Another public hearing is set for Tuesday night and then the council will decide if the rezoning is approved.

Developer Ed Schmelz is seeking to change the zoning from M-2 heavy industrial to PD-R planned residential. The old shoe factory is located at 700 W. Second St. The property is located on Second Street between Rand and Johnson streets. It is currently owned by Eckelkamp Enterprises, LLC.

Sal Maniaci, community and economic development director, said the rezoning request covers almost two city blocks.

The proposed apartment complex would renovate the existing one-, two- and three-story structures on the site. Four smaller structures that were not part of the original building would be demolished to make way for parking.

A total of 85 units are planned. Of those, 50 would be two-bedroom units and 35 would be one-bedroom units.

Schmelz said the plans also call for two studio apartments that would rent out for $595 a month. The one-bedroom, one-bathroom units would rent out for $765 a month.

The two-bedroom, two-bathroom units would rent for $975 a month while the two-bedroom, one-bathroom units would rent for $925 a month.

Schmelz said the rent would include sewer, water and trash collection.

The units would range in size from 610 square feet to 1,012 square feet.

A number of neighbors spoke out at the planning and zoning meeting and expressed concerns about the project. Most said they were in favor of the development and excited to see something happen to the shoe factory, however, issues were raised about parking.

Despite the concerns, the plan board voted unanimously to move the project forward.

No Trash Contract

Not on the agenda Tuesday night is an ordinance to award a solid waste contract to a private firm to handle the city’s trash collection.

Last month, city staff voted to turn over the city’s trash collection to Waste Connections, Bridgeton. At the time, Public Works Director John Nilges said a formal contract should be ready for vote in February.

City Administrator Darren Lamb said details of the contract are still being worked out. He said the deal should be presented to council members in March.

The city received four bids for the trash hauling. The bidders are Grace Hauling ($1,116,780 per year), Meridan ($1,182,294 per year), Waste Connections ($1,183,855.92 per year) and Republic ($1,299,820.92 per year).

Under the proposed deal, bills for customers will not change. In fact, the rate will be locked in for five years.

Waste Connections handles collection for the cities of Union, St. Clair, Pacific and others in the St. Louis area.

Under the proposal discussed in January, trash collection wouldn’t change. Recycling would switch to every other week.

Customers would be able to keep their current trash cans. New recycling bins would be issued to each customer.

Nilges pointed to recycling as the main reason for the switch. He said from the city’s point of view, it’s a labor-intensive operation that runs at a deficit.

Other Items

Also on the agenda is an ordinance to buy a new truck for city staff. Purchase of new playground equipment for the main park will be voted on as well.

The council also will vote on a budget ordinance and amend the city code.