Council Hears Sustainability Plan For First Time

By Stephanie Malench

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The Collinsville City Council recognized several individuals and received a donation at their regular meeting at Gateway Convention Center on September 22. The September Yard of the Month first place award went to Barbara Johnston at 141 Helen Place and the second place award went to her neighbors Phillip and Charleen Herr at 143 Helen Place.

Rob Hill was recognized on his retirement from operator at the Wastewater treatment plant. Daniel Elliott was introduced as his replacement. Lisa Other was also introduced as a new account technician in the finance department.

The last presentation was a check to the City from the Kiwanis for $6,000 to be used for Willoughby Farms to build an outdoor education pavilion.

Mayor Pro-Tem Jeff Stehman also made the annual proclamation declaring October 4-10 Fire Prevention Week 2020.

The City Council then heard a presentation by Deputy City Manager Derek Jackson about the Sustainability Plan that has been developed by the Cool Cities Committee over the course of the past year.

Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without sacrificing the needs of the future. The plan is broken down into five focus areas (transportation; buildings, grounds, and lighting; environmental management; land use and planning; and community development, engagement, and education. The plan is a guiding document designed to complement other plans the city has in place such as the Great Streets Initiative for St. Louis Rd and Collinsville Rd and the Parks Master Plan.

As part of the plan development, two open houses were held before the COVID shutdown and an online survey was available after for additional input. The input received from the 12 people who attended the open houses and the 244 survey responses were summed up in the following categories: top practices desired and top barriers to sustainable practices.

The top practices the residents requested are waste reduction, improved parks, and increased flexibility in having home gardens on their property. The top barriers to sustainability were listed as it is too expensive and people feel there is a lack of action to make a difference.

During public comment, Joyce Biegert with the Collinsville Tote Me Home Program spoke about the need for monetary donations in lieu of donated items for the bags that are delivered to around 200 students in every building in the Unit 10 school district each week.

The budget currently only has enough money in it to send bags home with 225 students. Two weeks into the school year the Tote Me Home program has already sent home 190 bags.

The City Council will be holding a food drive at locations around the City for those that prefer to give that way.

Cash donations can be made by check to tote Me Home c/o Collinsville Food Pantry, 201 E. Church St., Collinsville, IL 62234.

An ordinance was passed Allowing the Mound Public Water district to continue purchasing wastewater treatment services for 2% of the plants operational costs from the Collinsville Water Treatment Plant for the next 15 years with an option to purchase water treatment services for 10 years after that. Mound Public Water District may use up to 4% of the design capacity of the current plant and the new plant once operational before they have to cut back their usage or renegotiate a new agreement.

The Council also approved using motor fuel tax funds for engineering services from Oates and Associates in the amount of $34,900 to evaluate all of the city’s asphalt and concrete streets and create a database of the number and location of cracks with pictures. The project will take 2-3 months to complete.

The City Council approved an ordinance allowing Mayor John Miller to approve an agreement between the city and Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to capture Medicaid money totaling approximately 50% of the current reimbursement rate and the actual cost of ground emergency medical transportation.

The final ordinance passed of the evening was granting McDill’s owner Patrick McDill and McDill Incorporated a one year extension on their redevelopment plan due to the pandemic. The new completion date is December 15, 2021.

The last business item of the evening was appointing Alene Hill to the Historic Preservation Commission. Hill currently sits on Friends of the D.D. Collins House Board and the Miner’s Institute Foundation Board.

The next meeting will be October 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Gateway Center and is open to the public.

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