Welcome back to ready set sold!
And I am so pleased and so happy to share with you Mayor herb Rhodes we’ve gotten to know each other over the phone mainly and a great guy great mayor and I wanted to bring him on because he’s got some really cool things not only about the city of O’Fallon Illinois.
But also during the holidays things that are coming up and herb and he’ll actually called her not mayor herb so I’m that’s why I’m calling him herb uh tell us what’s going on first how you doing and what’s going on in the great city of Ocala well Brian uh.
First of all thank you for giving us an opportunity to let people know what’s going on because I I couldn’t be prouder of going into the new year of the work that our volunteers in our community are doing our staff here at the city hall and and our City Council I mean if I go through a few of the things that we’ve got going on you’ll understand why I say that.
Aand you know for example with the holidays coming up we just brought in Santa Claus with a great parade this past Saturday and unfortunately we thought for a minute that we may not have our annual Santa parade because people had put it on for many many years just were physically not able to do it this year. And when we got that call I started putting some calls out for about 48 hours and got just a great response and one of the people who called me was a Beth Ortega and Beth just said herb she says I’ll step up and take it and run with it and she not only ran with it but she did a bang-up job I mean we ended up having a parade that was an hour long we had over 15 floats over 70 different units in it.
It was the best parade people say that we have had here in O’Fallon in years and people were six and eight deep where the parade ended is where our Santa’s Hut is at which was over on 1st and vine and that’s available for people to come on the weekend Santa is there and able to talk to the children and find out what they’re looking for for Christmas but we had a number of different tents set up for kids we had they were fixing s’mores and many many other items he had hot chocolate available.
It was just a real good thing to just pull the community together and have people enjoying that Saturday evening and of course when you’ve got 50 degree temperatures that sure doesn’t hurt anything either but that was just just fantastic going into holiday season for us that is fantastic and and what and is something I’m sure you’re going to be doing next year then oh no question this is an annual event we want to keep this going on an annual event and then where we’ve got some plans going on and again we’ve got so many good volunteers stepping up to help us but for years.
Oh Fallon has not had a community-wide picnic or festival so we are going to have what’s going to be called the O’Fallon fest next August and so now we’re shifting gears and we’ve got people helping us plan toward that and getting us some sponsorships toward that but it’s it’s rolling along at a better pace than I thought it was going to be and we just again we’re very blessed with a lot of good volunteers that we’ve got this stepped-up and you know I think you know I don’t think know when the last time we talked I don’t think our new Saint Elizabeth Hospital had opened up but now that we’ve got that brand new 144 bed hospital that is opened up with all kind of new facilities.
In effect some of the most modern state-of-the-art one of the operating rooms I understand is one of the top most modern operating rooms in the entire st. Louis region and then in addition to that the McKendree Plex is up and operating a McKendree the university has held there a couple of hockey events over there there their pools are wide open and everything is that’s going very good we’ve just completed about eight major road reconstruction projects part of that being a resurfacing around 50 the Greenmount road.
We completely tore that apart and widen that put new islands in new lighting and everything new walking paths along that that runs right next to the new hospital you know and then our our soccer fields they were under construction when we last talked we’ve had seven new turf soccer fields that are opened up we’ve already held three tournaments on it we’ve got 14 tournaments booked for next year on it that average in excess of a hundred teams and that once again we’ve got a good member of our staff here Mary Jean Hutchison who has just taken hold with that Park and just made sure that it is nothing but top-notch and that’s helping us in so many different ways you know it’s drawing us in our hotels our hotels are telling us that their bookings are up tremendously.
We’ve got a new whole hotel under construction we’ve got people talking about the possibility of about three other types of hotels that may be coming online we just opened it who yep go ahead well if I could just just interrupt it’s a fantastic stuff thank you so much for sharing that and I think it just goes back and we talk bullshit on the show also along with what’s going on with cities but you know what I hear is is again it just it just makes a falen that much better of a community when you have all those pieces not only do you have jobs not only do you have good-paying jobs actually high-paying jobs that with the hospital that brings more not only more revenue.
But the city is able to do more things that makes a felon even that much nicer place to live and plus the recreations and everything else that you talked about I mean that’s it’s actually amazing I’m always always happy to to hear what’s going on because I think it’s just important that on the real estate but just if you’re living in for not moving just to know what the city’s involved with and all the things are going on and that’s fantastic we are running running out of time for this segment but again um boy do you want more good thing that you’ll love and you’re in real estate and this is a work that our Finance Committee just passed this past Monday that they’re rolling back the city’s portion of the real estate tax rate back to what it was in 2014.
And a reduction in the amount of taxes that we will ask to be collected by over a quarter of a million dollars that that is that is great news and that’s great news for realtors but it’s also great news for homeowners ah great job they’re great well a lot a lot of that credit goes to our staff and our City Council they’ve all worked very hard on making putting things in place that allow that to occur awesome.
Awesome thanks so much for sharing that mayor again a happy holiday see you in the city and a Merry Christmas we appreciate you being at your time and everything you do for the Sevilla fellow.
Well thank you for the opportunity and thank you for all of your staff and a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays to all of you.
Alright thank you hey we’ll be back after these short messages with our next segment thank you. [Music]