By Stephanie Malench
The Collinsville City Council met on December 14 and approved several large development projects throughout the meeting. But first, the Yard of the Year Contest winner was announced. The winners are Scott and Vicki Ahlers at 24 Wheat Ridge.
The first two projects approved were the rezoning of 809 St. Louis Rd from B-4 Commercial District and R-1 Single Family Residential District to P-B-2 Planned Limited Commercial District for the expansion of the Save-On Liquor Store and gas station.
The plans include expanding the 4,430 square foot building by 4,155 square feet, curbing out the property to limit backing out onto St. Louis Rd, and adding sidewalks and green space to the property. This project aligns with the Great Streets long-term plan.
The next major project approved was the updating of an ordinance rezoning 400 Beltline Rd, the former car wash site owned by Moto Mart as P-B-4 for the development of two parcels containing a Total Access Urgent Care and Starbucks Drive-Thru. Site improvements include landscaping and sidewalks.
Although the parking lots will be connected and a driveway will enter and exit onto both Vandalia and the Beltline, Councilman David Jerome expressed major concerns about the increase in traffic turning left into the development and backing up onto northbound Vandalia in the turn lane right before the traffic light. Jerome said this was also a major issue with the proposed Moto Mart that fell through for other reasons. By approving the project, Jerome said “we’re building an accident zone there”.
Senior Planner Andi Yancey responded that the city waited until the IDOT traffic study came back to release any details and IDOT believes the intersection can handle the additional traffic.
Mayor John Miller echoed concern for the traffic in the area, with specific concerns about the ability of emergency vehicles to be able to navigate the area.
Later in the meeting the final plat was approved.
Several TIF awards were made to local property owners from the expiring Uptown TIF funds, including to Ardent Spirits for the redevelopment of the area surrounding Old Herald. The final amount awarded for the project is $705,375, or 37.5% of the TIF eligible costs. The money will be paid out in three equal amounts according to phase of completion. The first payout will occur after phase 1, “demolition of buildings, removal of debris, site preparation, and other acts related to the construction of the entertainment/meeting stage/pavilion and ice cream dessert parlor” and must be completed within 120 days of signing the agreement. The final payout will occur no later than 635 days and will occur when the retail space and sports bar are complete. City Manager Mitch Bair expects the city to receive a return on its investment in approximately 5-7 years.
Other TIF awards were made to:
Tim Johnson and Huricane’s Bar and Grill at 222 W. Main St. for facade renovations including demolition of the current facade, tuckpointing, glass garage doors on either side of the entrance, ADA entrance, exterior fencing (no sidewalk seating), and accent lighting. The reimbursement will be $36,339.26 as a lump sum;
Derrick Cox and the Collinsville Township Senior Center at 305 E. Main St. for HVAC improvements, including the removal of four rooftop units and two curb adapters replaced with four new rooftop units and three curb adapters. Total award is $16,611.60.
Metro East Equipment Company at 1823 Vandalia St. received TIF funds in the amount of $53,880 from the Northeast Business District Funds for a roof replacement. Bair said the company will be requesting funds later in 2022 for much needed parking lot improvements.
The tax levy for 2021 was approved for $3,325,485, up $158,055 from 2020. The tax rate percentage remains unchanged. The majority (93.7%) of the money will go to the police and fire fighter pension fund with the balance ( 6.3%) going to the general fund.
Also approved was the Capital Improvement Plan for 2022. The plan includes 59 projects with a value of $5,625,700, 71% in the public works department. The plan will be available soon on the city’s website.
A resolution was passed in support of the city applying for the Rebuild Downtowns and Main Streets Capital Grant Program for the St. Louis Road Corridor Revitalization Project Phase 1. The project had previously been approved by the city council and will receive between $250,000 and $3 million for the Maple Street through S. Jefferson. The project is still scheduled to start after the storm sewer replacement in 2022.
Bids and contracts were awarded for the 2022 Motor Fuel Tax Maintenance Program and include the reinforced concrete pipe for the St. Louis Road storm sewer project. Contracts were awarded to Beelman, Christ Brothers, Fred Weber, Kienstra, Metal Culverts, Midwest Municipal Supply, and Petroff Trucking.
Bids and Contracts were also awarded for the water and wastewater treatment process chemicals for 2022. All chemicals went up in price anywhere from 8% to 36.5% except for carbon dioxide.
Because of this an ordinance was passed updating the water usage fees for 2022. Water and sewer usage fees are increasing by 6%, but the city’s rates are still lower than everyone else in Madison County except for Glen Carbon, Troy, and Maryville. Deputy City Manager Derek Jackson said at least one of those municipalities is set to have an increase in fees of 20% for 2022. Other fee increases include a 3.57% increase in garbage collection, sewer reconnection fees up from $125 to $225, and after hours service connection and reconnection fees from $125 to $250.
A new fee is being added for septic tank hauling, $125 per haul.
In other business:
an ordinance was approved revoking the wage freeze for civilian employees of the police department (telecommunicators). The freeze was preventing the city from offering competitive wages and was causing a shortage of employees in the department;
an ordinance authorizing the mayor to sign an agreement with Lauterbach and Amen, LLP for a seven year contract providing auditing services for the city at a savings of $107,660 over the current contract.
The next meeting will be January 11 at 6:30 p.m.