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Collinsville Township Appoints New Road And Bridge Commissioner To Finish Term Of Larry Trucano

By Stephanie Malench

The Collinsville Township Board unanimously approved Township Supervisor Dan Hopkin’s appointment of Jim Trucano, who has been serving as the foreman at the garage to finish out the term of his late father, Larry Trucano, who passed away on October 4.

The board also unanimously approved sending a memorial donation in Larry Trucano’s name to Anderson Hospital in the amount of $300.

A report was given to the board by Randy Mitchell of AAIC updating them on the  results of the bids for the expansion of the Township Roads and Bridges facility. Bidding opened on September 15 and upon closing RW Volker was awarded the project with a low bid of $483,400 for the 3500 square foot pre-engineered steel building. The new building will contain a wash bay to wash the salt out of the truck beds after each shift sheltered from the elements, a breakroom, and a restroom.

Hopkins announced that the YMCA told him they would not be using the Senior Center for Childcare after October 16 because of the facility being used for early voting beginning October 19. Trustee Derrick Cox then went on for several minutes explaining why Hopkins agreed to let the Y use the building, leading to an irrelevant rehashing of past intentions.

Trustee Jim Stack tabled the agenda item he had requested at the September 8 meeting be placed on this month’s agenda asking for a vote to override Hopkin’s decision to allow the Y to use the Senior Center for childcare during remote learning days. Stack claims that seniors are still upset that they cannot use their building  but children can. He said he was removing the vote because he knew it would not pass with Trustee Rob Milam absent due to work.

Foley replied he was against the Y using the facility because they have their own and wanted to know when the Village of Maryville and City of Collinsville were going to help the Y. Cox reminded him that the Village was helping by letting the Y use their senior center.

Another contentious item on the agenda was the rebidding of the trash pickup contract for the Township. Hopkins had attempted to execute a contract with Waste Management after they submitted a lower bid than Republic, who previously held the contract that expired on September 30.

Waste Management and the Township were unable to agree on language for the contract, and Waste Management was unable to begin service in time for the contract. Additionally, Republic threatened to sue the Township because the request was not publicly announced in a local paper.

Republic will continue to pick up trash from Township residents without a contract as long as the contract is put out for bid and published (which it was not back in May because according to Township Attorney Justin Mattea, publication was unnecessary because the it would not cost the Township over $20,000).

Trustee Cox expressed concern that because Waste Management might not win the bid that they would sue the Township. Mattea said they told him the would be happy to rebid and he took that as a positive sign they would not try to sue. Mattea cautioned the board that voting against the bid could cause the Township to lose trash pick up. The motion passed.

The contentious meeting continued with the review of bills for the month. Cox asked why there were thousands of dollars of bills for cameras. Hopkins said that the cameras were inadequate at the back of the building and some were broken. After the bills were discussed, Trustee Stack commented that the cameras were probably broken by the children in the Y throwing rocks. Foley joined him in laughing, saying “that was a good one”. Hopkins added that the cameras were on the administration building, not the senior center, but the jabs at the children continued, with Foley adding “the way I understand it the kids have been out of control there”.

During Assessor comments,, Township Assessor Peter Poletti started a screaming match with Trustee Cox over comments he made during the last meeting that Poletti was the highest paid assessor in Illinois with Poletti asking where Cox got his facts from and Cox not answering his questions. Insults were thrown in both directions with no attempt to bring the meeting to order by Hopkins.

The last item of the evening was the Supervisor’s report. Hopkins said that over 300 LIHEAP applications had been processed and 97 rent and water assistance applications. Eighty-five applications had been made for holiday baskets. Township residents can call (618)344-1290 to apply for any program with applications for baskets being taken until December 18, 2020.

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