By Stephanie Malench
The Collinsville Township Board of Trustees met on January 11 with a limited agenda. Three public comments were made, two by Mark Achenbach and Al Woolen, questioning the status of the parking lot and thanking the board for lowering the tax levy. Woolen also wanted to know exactly how the tax levy was lowered. An issue was also raised by Jeanne Lomax about a Trustee sending an email to the entire board regarding a former employee, which Lomax felt was politically motivated and a violation of the open meetings act. Lomax asked the township attorney to investigate.
During reports by officers and committees, road commissioner Kathy Trucano-Hoelscher reported that the road district building addition was now complete. Trustee Ashley Stewart reported that the Township Office helped over 50 adults in the township with Christmas baskets and over 200 families with rental assistance in December.
Clerk Jim Achenbach announced that the Annual Township Meeting will be held on April 12. The last date for residents to request an item be added to the agenda. The agenda will be approved by the Board of Trustees at the regular March meeting and will be posted on or before March 28 with the meeting notice.
Achenbach is also in the process of preparing Request for Proposal Documents to select a vendor/contractor for the Rooftop A/C replacement project at the Senior Center, hopefully before the end of the fiscal year (March 31).
Supervisor Derrick Cox announced that the Senior Center would be closed except for drive through lunches starting January 11 due to the rising COVID-19 numbers. When the center reopens, Gabrielle Koonce will be the Interim Senior Center Director. AARP will again be available to help seniors with their taxes at the center on Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning in February.
The only new business was approving the holiday calendar for the Township for 2022. Because Juneteenth is on a Sunday this year they did not include it on the calendar and will begin including it next year.
A discussion was also held on grant opportunities for the Township this year. Trustee Brad Sewell reported that ACT has a grant of up to $100,000 available that could be applied for for the parking lot. The grant would be in addition to the PEP grant that is available. Sewell also suggested reaching out to Collinsville Faith In Action to work with the Township for grant money to help subsidize the new shuttle bus program.
Finally, during Supervisor’s Comments, Cox addressed the public comments about the parking lot. Cox reiterated that the parking lot is not currently listed for sale, however “Collinsville Township currently has a written option from the owner to purchase the property for $125,000”.
Cox also announced the Township has entered into an agreement with Oates Associates to provide engineering services for the parking lot project and a commercial appraisal of the property has been ordered and should be completed by the end of the month. He wants to have as much information as possible for the electors at another special or regular annual meeting.
Cox also announced that the Collinsville City Council approved the TIF funding for the Senior Center Rooftop A/C project.
The next meeting will be February 8 at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center.