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Collinsville City Council Discussed Funding For Biosolids Project

By Stephanie Malench

The Collinsville City Council met on October 27 and the first order of business was an update on the financial side of the biosolids project from Chief Financial Officer Chris Mooney.

A grant from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and a loan through a local bank are both pending. Additionally, because the waste treatment plant upgrade is a regional project (also serving Maryville and the Mound Water District), the project is included in the Rebuild Illinois Capitol Bill. In order to get funding consideration, the project must be pushed by local legislators, which both State Representative Katie Stuart (D) and State Senator Rachelle Aud Crowe (D) have done.

Because neither of these options may be immediately announced, the City is going to begin asking for quotes on short term loans to be paid off immediately by one of the above mentioned funding sources with a vote for approval at the November 24 meeting.

During staff comments, Deputy City Manager Derek Jackson made some clarifying remarks related to complaints on social media from people with high water bills. Jackson encouraged anyone with an unusually high water bill to call the administrative offices and staff will look into the issue. He also reminded citizens that a hung up toilet flapper can use 4-5 gallons of water per minute.

Jackson said the water rates are the fourth lowest after Troy, Maryville, and Glen Carbon at $5.33/1,000 gallons or $76.96 during a 2 month billing cycle for a family of 2 using 3,000 gallons per person per month.

Although water rates automatically go up 3% each year, there was no increase in 2017.

An ordinance was passed adopting the sustainability plan developed by the Cool Cities Committee and reviewed by the Building and Zoning and Parks and Recreation Committees was approved following the presentation and discussion by the Council at the September 22 City Council meeting.

After refunding the special liquor licenses for outdoor dining due to COVID-19 last month, the City Council approved completely doing away with the yearly fee, replacing it with a one time $50 application fee. Restaurants and bars that already have had the license will not have to pay the application fee.

A vote on an ordinance amending the Collinsville Municipal Code pertaining to nuisance vehicles within the public right of way was tabled after the discussion so it could be presented with other amendments to the alley portion of the ordinance.

Changes discussed include prohibition of boats, campers, trailers, recreational vehicles, commercial vehicles, vehicles over 7 feet tall, and vehicles with covers on them on city streets, blocking mail boxes, or blocking sidewalks.

The final ordinance passed for the evening was an ordinance providing for the issuance of no more than $8,500,000 general obligation refunding bonds of the City of Collinsville and providing for the levy and collection of a direct annual tax for the payment of the principal of and interest on the bods. According to Dan Forbes of Speer Financial, the selling of the bonds from 2012 and purchasing of new bonds will save the city approximately $413,000 or $68,933.33 per year.

The next meeting will be held at the Gateway Convention Center on November 10 at 6:30 p.m.

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