Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Development Planned to Help West Alton `Coast' Back to Life

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Development Planned to Help West Alton `Coast' Back to Life

Article excerpt

Mississippi Coast.

Get used to the phrase.

That's the name that promoters have given to a grand development scheme for the West Alton area. The plan will be previewed in detail Oct. 16 at a special closed meeting of the St. Charles County Council.

The meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn in St. Peters.

The so-called Mississippi Coast project is being proposed by County Executive Eugene C. Schwendemann. He has characterized the project as "the first breath of life" to come to the West Alton area since its devastation by this year's floods.

Earlier this year, Schwendemann said, "We're trying to build up the Mississippi River area for entertainment besides boating."

With the advice of a consultant, Schwendemann has chosen Forester Management Services Inc. of Northfield, Ill., to present its proposal for the development at next week's special council meeting. Forester is one of five companies that offered preliminary proposals Sept. 20 to Schwendemann and other county officials, including Building Commissioner Tom Szilasi.

Schwendemann is being advised on the project by Jim Taylor, a banking and financial consultant in Petaluma, Calif.

Taylor, 49, worked for five years for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs and the Department of Conservation.

Schwendemann said the idea for such a development had been suggested by Szilasi, who had visited Eagle Creek Golf Court and Conference Center near Findlay, Ill. Late last year, Schwendemann had joined Szilasi, then-Director of Administration James O'Loughlin and county Planning Director Steven Lauer on a visit to Eagle Creek.

Ed Forester is expected to propose a public-private effort for the development of a 200-room hotel, an 18-hole championship golf course, a small marina and facilities for business conferences and other educational and entertainment events.

A source says that the proposal for buildings and parking areas will conform to requirements required for federal flood insurance.

Carl Bearden, chairman of the County Council, said he had been advised that next week's meeting should be closed to the public. …

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