By Stephanie Malench
The Collinsville City Council held its rst meeting since March 23 on May 12 at the Gateway Convention Center so that social distancing could be observed.
After the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor John Mill- er read a proclamation making Saturday May 16 CHS Senior Proclamation Day in honor of the hard work the students have done over the year and the inability to have a regular graduation due to COVID-19.
Although all city facilities are still closed, all services are still available by calling the cor- rect department at city hall. City Manager Mitch Bair said there has been a surge in the issuance of building permits with people off work and time on their hands. Bair also stated that the city is not shutting resident’s water off in accordance with the state public health emergency.
All capital projects that have not been started are frozen, non- critical spending and hiring have been stopped. Expenditures have been cut by 10%. In spite of all of this, the city has not had to fur- lough any of its employees.
Revenues from the hotel/mo- tel tax have been “nonexistent”, but restaurant tax revenues have remained strong.
The Parks Department has cre- ated a plan for opening two weeks out based on different times the stay at home order is lifted. The Aquapark renovations are com- pleted except for the fence that will be nished in time for the opening June 1 or later. The Glidden Park
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and Woodland Park renovations are on hold.
The mill and overlay project for the city streets has been postponed for the year, saving $1 million.. This was possible due to the good conditions the streets are in at this time.
The rest of the meeting was spent formally approving agree- ments and resolutions that Bair had entered into over the past 2 months.
Included in those agreements was an extension of the lease agreements between the City, L&N Partners and HCI allowing the City to sublet the Gateway Fun Park Lot out to HCI Alternatives until August 4. The City expects to renew the agreements again at that time as the Collinsville dispensary is the number one moneymaker in the state and has seen no drop in revenue with the opening of the Sauget location.
A lease agreement was also entered into between the City and Keller Farms allowing farming of the land the city purchased for the sports complex expansion but will not be developing until at least the spring of 2021. This will allow the City to save on maintenance costs and make money on the land.
The Declaration of Local Pub- lic Health Emergency was also ex- tended through May 29, allowing Bair to act in times of emergencies.