ELLISVILLE — Mayor Mike Roemerman and the City Council have rejected a permit for a Montessori day care facility to open at 15468 Manchester Road, in a building where Bill's Appliance now operates.
Only Councilwoman Cindy Pool voted in favor of the Higher Ground Education Montessori day care on Wednesday.
Other day cares operate "up and down Manchester Road," Pool said. "Montessori schools have a good reputation, and I don't know why we're not welcoming them like we have other such facilities in the city.”
Roemerman said that there are plenty of other places in Ellisville that would be better suited.
“I'd try to work out a lease for a potential buyer who would allow Bill's Appliance to stay or to allow Bill's to buy the building,” he said. A day care at that location, he added, “would be squeezing a square peg in a round hole.”
City officials have raised concerns about situating such a facility at the corner of Reinke Road and Manchester.
Chris Horney, with Murphy Real Estate Services, said plans included adding a speed bump to discourage people attempting to cut through the site.
“We also would add wheel stops to address concerns about people who might park too close to the sidewalk in front of the building or the playground,” he said.
Before the vote, resident Marilyn Niebling said she had hoped the council would approve the daycare plan.
“This business would bring an established brand known for providing quality services to families in and around Ellisville,” she said.
She acknowledged that traffic challenges at the location are real, "but those challenges would be there for any business fronting on Manchester Road.”
Skip Berkmeyer, owner of the building, has said there is a good chance Bill's Appliance would leave, knowing that he has put the building up for sale. Some council members have expressed concern that the city would lose a sales-tax producing business in place of a service business.