By Stephanie Malench
The Collinsville City Council met on January 12 at the Gateway Convention Center. Deputy City Manager Derek Jackson presented the City Council with the Award of Achievement received from the 2020 Green Business Challenge. The main project for the award was the completion of the City of Collinsville Sustainablilty Plan that was passed in November by the City Council.
The city council heard a presentation from Community development Staff regarding a text amendment to the fence or wall accessory ordinance. Amrok had been through both the Zoning and Planning Commissions and was denied a variance in September of 2020 to place a 10 foot tall electric fence around the United Rentals property.
Once the variance was denied, Amrok exercised their right to rewrite the whole ordinance to apply to all commercial properties throughout the city. The fence would include warning signs every 60 feet. Amroc claimed they were being pre-emptive because other United Rentals Properties in the area were having problems with theft.
The city staff researched neighboring cities and found that electric fences are prohibited in Edwardsville, Belleville, Troy, O’Fallon, and Glen Carbon except around one municipal facility.
The city staff felt this was not the type of development the city wanted to see and asked the city council to vote no on the ordinance.
The ordinance failed unanimously.
During public comment a representative from Amroc said he was very disappointed in the city staff and city council for denying him his right to protect his customer and that they would be back.
During announcements from city staff, City Manager Mitch Bair stated that the ordinance was just for the benefit of the company, not the customer. If the customer was so worried about their security, they would have approached the city and they would have worked with them to come up with a security solution that included such barriers as rose bushes or safer deterrents.
Bair also announced that the Gateway Convention Center will be used as a Madison County Health Department Vaccination Center. At this point it is not available to the public. Collinsville is the first city in the super region to have a consolidated vaccination center.
A large amount of time was also spent by police chief Steve Evans going over the SB 163SA2 that was set to be passed that night. Because the bill changed after that point, a detailed discussion will not be printed here.
Evans shook as he spoke on the legislation, saying “This will be destructive to our ability to keep our community safe”. Although the city council had already budgeted body cameras for the police department, Evans said he is unsure if he wants to go through if the section making a techincal proble with the body cameras going off a Class 3 felony.
Mayor John Miller commented on the bille “I think it’s disheartening to think that our governement in this state goes to the level of hiding things like this in a clean bill to try to push it through is very disheartening to me”. He said he spoke to State Senator Rachel Aude Crowe and she said it was a “no” vote from her.
Ordinances were passed waving the $250 fee for Webster school to put a new sign on their building and approving contracts for asphalt, concrete, flowable fill, rock, storm sewer pipes and street lights.
An amendment for an increase in funding for a new mower for the sports complex and parks was approved because the prices came in 2% ($863) over the estimate.
The city also applied for the annual PEP grant through Madison County for $89,604 for the Woodland park shelter replacement project.