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Collinsville Council Makes Plans To Improve Technology

By Stephanie Malench

The Collinsville City Council kept their March 9 meeting at the Gateway Convention Center to under an hour. Mayor John Miller swore in Zachary Walters as a police officer. Walters has an administrative justice degree and is coming from the Troy police department.

In continuing to look at key performance indicators for each of the city departments, City Clerk Kim Wasser gave an overview of her department for 2020. The department saw a decrease in FOIA requests due to a transparent website. The clerk’s office also processed five annexation agreements and two pre-annexation agreements, up from 2019.

Information Technology Coordinator Dan McCormick then gave a detailed report of  new target indicators tracked during 2020. The main goals centered around the response times of the help desk. Although the department saw improving numbers throughout the year, the department was not able to hit the targets of making a first response to a problem ticket of less than one hour and tickets only being open for eight hours. The department that has the most help desk requests was the police department.

Plans for 2021 in IT include assessing and reducing cybersecurity threats and trying to establish enterprise Adobe licensing to save money across departments.

Councilman Tony Hausmann, who works as a cybersecurity executive, suggested that perhaps McCormick set smaller benchmarks, then building from there. Hausmann offered to share some of his companies benchmarks and targets as a template to McCormick. McCormick expressed interest in the offer.

Only two ordinances were approved during the meeting. The first authorized the mayor to sign an agreement for funding in the amount of $50,730from Illinois Environmental Protection Agency funders for storm water mitigation at Willoughby Farm. The IEPA provides a 50% match through reimbursements.

The funds will be combined with $15,000 from a Madison County Environmental grant to help with erosion problems.

The second ordinance approved city manager Mitch Bair to approve property, casualty, and risk insurance for 2021. Costs are up 10.1% over 2020 premiums with an increase in deductibles due to weather related claims across the country. City managers across southwestern Illinois have reported similar increases despite decreasing claims over the last two years.

The city did switch to a park and recreation specialty policy provider for the Aqua Park, saving $58,627 over staying with the previous underwriter. Staff is looking for ways to reduce the costs in 2022, as the premiums have gone up $300,000 over the last two years.

The next meeting will be March 23.

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