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Collinsville Urges Residents To Use New App To Report Issues

By Stephanie Malench

smalench@timestribunenews.com

The Collinsville City Council received three reports at its October 12 meeting at Gateway Center. The first by Chief Financial Officer Kris Mooney was the comprehensive annual report ending December 31, 2020  completed by Sikich, Inc., which showed the city ending the year with $27.1 million in revenue and a deficit of $374,000.

The unassigned fund balance is $7.2 million, or 26.7% of total General Fund revenues, exceeding the city council’s guidelines of 15-20% for budgetary and planning purposes.

For this reason, coupled with an expected surplus again this year, City Manager Mitch Bair is looking at applying some of the unassigned fund balance towards 2022 capital projects.

The second report was by City Clerk Kim Wasser explaining the City of Collinsville Mobile App as a way to  report code violations (tall grass, inoperable vehicles, trash and debris piled up outside; house color and political signs are not code violations) and other issues such as pot holes, water bill issues or a street light outage. The app is free to download and is the easiest, most direct way to inform the city of issues that affect the health and welfare of residents.

Only 350 residents as of the meeting of city council had downloaded the app. Cards explaining how to download and use the app are available at City Hall, the Convention Center and the Activity Center.

The final report was an associated report by building and Neighborhood  Services Manager Eric Nagel outlining the steps in handling a code violation from the time it is called in by a caring neighbor or city employee until the violation is resolved, hopefully through compliance.

In addition to the previously mentioned app, residents can report potential code violations by calling the Nuisance Complaint Hotline at (618)346-5200, going online to www.collinsvilleil.org/departments/community-development/code-enforcement-division/code-violation-reporting or speaking to any community development staff member.

Nagel said the goal for turnaround time verifying a complaint and site inspection is 24 hours. A letter is then sent to the property owner outlining how long the owner has to correct the violation and the door is tagged no later than 48 hours later. The full process is outlined at /www.collinsvilleil.org/departments/community-development/code-enforcement-division.

The goal of the nuisance and code enforcement violation program is “to create a sense of community” according to Nagel, not to collect fines. Nagel said to “be a good neighbor by keeping your own property clean and helping others who may have difficulty keeping up with maintenance.

Part of the code enforcement department’s duties are education on what is and is not a code violation and connecting residents who may need help fixing an issue with community service providers.

In other business, the council approved Mayor John Miller signing a contract with SBI Rents for a screw press for dewatering biosolids equipment for 7 months from the time the city’s contract with Keller Farms ends in December until the new biosolids plant is completed. The $15,000 per month plus  transportation and set up fees is less than the current rate paid to Keller.

Another ordinance was passed allowing City manager Bair to execute a change order in the amount of $6,734 with Henegan Construction for the stormwater mitigation project at Wiloughby Farms. Extra work is needed, including hydroseeding, widening the path next to the barn for pedestrian traffic and additional survey work. The additional cost will be covered by the IEPA 319 grant.

The last ordinance approved was an ordinance authorizing Miller to enter a Broker agreement with Daniel and Henry to provide property and casualty insurance to the city with a goal of reducing the deductibles the city pays.

The next meeting will be October 26 at 6:30 p.m.

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