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Economic Recovery Better Than Expected For City Of Collinsville In 2020

By Stephanie Malench

The Collinsville City Council met at the Gateway Center on November 10 with Councilman Jeff Stehman serving as Mayor Pro-Tem.

The Yard of the Year award was given to Danny and Patty Lutz at 1009 Edwards St.

Two new police officers were sworn in to the Collinsville Police Department, Nicole Dwyer and Shane Mason. Dwyer previously served as an officer in Brooklyn and Venice and is also a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Mason’s previous experience was as a civil police aid in Fairview Heights, a community support officer in O’Fallon, and a campus police officer at SIUE.

The main discussion of the meeting was a discussion of the 2021 Capital Improvement Plan lead by City Manager Mitch Bair. The plan for the upcoming year is to save money and move slightly forward, but not go in reverse. Bair said the city will do this using a collaborative, conservative, creative, results driven approach.

Due to the state of emergency declared in March, all capital projects were frozen with the exception of water and sewer projects and those that would exacerbate deterioration of assets or lead to higher maintenance costs. This brought the costs for capital projects in 2020 down to $3.5 million from $6.8 million. Bair said the projects will be added to the 2021 plan.

All things considered, Bair said the city is recovering financially quicker than expected from the shutdowns.

Looking ahead to 2022, Bair said the big projects requiring financing include construction of the joint public works facility ($9 million), sports complex renovations ($10-15 million), ABC Parkway extension looping back to Horseshoe Lake Rd ( $1 million), and City Hall renovations, including moving the council chambers to the old court room to allow for better social distancing or more capacity, making the current council chambers a meeting/training room, renovation of the offices, and a combined central customer service counter ($2-3.5 million). TIF 1 which covers businesses in the Main St. corridor and Eastgate Plaza is set to expire in 2022.

The plan will be voted on at the November 24 meeting.

The other project discussed for voting on November 24 involve the Kruta’s redevelopment plan, which is made up of three components.

The first component is issuance of TIF funds for the bakery’s expansion. The total expansion is expected to cost $1,046,547 with $968,957 being TIF finance eligible. The city proposes to award Kruta’s with $350,000, which is similar to the amount approved for the McDill’s expansion.

Component two of the project includes a new city parking lot with splash pad next to Kruta’s. Kruta’s is donating 2 legal property lots to the city for the project.

The final component of the project involves road improvements in the node as part of the Great Streets Initiative. Bump outs protecting pedestrians and slowing down traffic, on-street parking reconfiguration of the Collinsville Rd intersection, and a new water main.

Pending approval, these projects will all begin in the spring in conjunction with McDill’s expansion.

City Hall is closed to the public until further notice due to rising rates of COVID-19 in the area.

The Farmers to Families Food Giveaway has been expanded through December 19 with the exception of November 28 at the Activity Center in Eastport.

The City Council unanimously approved the Parks Master Plan, which will guide capital budgeting and priority of all of the parks including the Aqua Park, Sports Complex, and community parks throughout the city. The plan was based on input from citizens gathered from open houses, surveys, specific group meetings and video surveys.

Approval of the plan will ensure greater opportunities for outside funding.

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