By Jake Leonard
The Collinsville City Council convened on Tuesday, Jan. 25 inside the Gateway Center for their regular meeting.
Mike Pagano, mayor of Pontoon Beach, spoke briefly about the recent shooting and killing of one of their police officers in the pursuit of a stolen vehicle. The officer’s death marks the first law enforcement death since 1922. He thanked the city and council for everything they’ve done since the incident.
The council made a proclamation supporting School Choice Week, which ran from January 23 through January 29.
Business discussed prior to public comments included:
- An amendment to the municipal code (Title 17 – Zoning) relating to separation requirements for cannabis dispensaries: The motion was struck down, denying an exemption.
- Repeal and replacement an ordinance for its planned commercial park district Collinsville Crossing: The language change of the ordinance replacement would be more compliant with the rules relating to zoning and land use in P-CP-1. Ordinance 3602, the ordinance in question, was passed in 2005. The planning commission had denied the motion 1-6. The council agreed with that decision and stuck down the motion.
- Amendment to the code (Title 17 – Zoning) relating to wired and monitored alarm systems: The request came from Amarok LLC relating to an alarm system relating to wired fences. Amarok was previously denied a proposal relating to electrified fences. The issue is brought up due to requests from several of Amarok’s clients that they service within city corporate limits. The planning committee agreed that the proposal was a step in the right direction. There was some confusion on how to manage special use permits relating to the matter, and by looking into alternatives, as well as assurances to make sure the alarm is not audible. The issue was tabled until there are more established guidelines on the matter, adding another layer of administration to the issue under administrative review. An amendment will be pending with more specific language for consideration at the next meeting.
- Rezoning real estate from B-2 limited commercial to Uptown Collinsville District (UCD): There were separate rezoning requests relating to properties owned by Bruce Mattea (508 W. Main St.) as well as the Karibian Real Revocable Trust (112 W. Main St.). Mattea’s building is currently occupied by a chiropractic practice and meets the requirements of potential rezoning. The planning commission approved the Mattea request, and the council voted in favor in agreement. Meanwhile, the Karibian property is a target of a fabric shop business wishing to expand into the location. It meets the requirement of potential rezoning, with neighboring buildings current in the UCD zone. It was also approved by the planning commission, with the council also voting in the affirmative.
Most of the discussion during the meeting was dedicated toward the issue of becoming a home rule municipality. It was more of a general discussion rather than a discussion with action being taken. The discussion was brought up in a memo to the council from city manager Mitchell Bair.
Bair set the stage with basic information about home rule, which allows municipalities to act as a self-autonomous entity while addressing issues locally. The city technically qualifies as and is currently a home rule municipality, reaching roughly 25,000 residents in 2005. The population has declined by just over 1,200 people (or potentially over 1,500) since then, according to the 2020 Census. That amounts to a 9.3 percent population decrease. However, he questions the Census data, while referencing the city’s own internal population tracking dating back to 2015.
A referendum may be on the table for voters to determine whether Collinsville should remain a home rule municipality, but a timeline as to when that issue would be taken up for a referendum vote is likely to take place during the November 8, 2022 general election.
Bair detailed some of benefits of remaining a home rule municipality, including certain rights as a governmental body as allowed by the 1970 amendments to the Illinois State Constitution unless otherwise prohibited. He also detailed some outcomes should they no longer be a home rule municipality, which may impact some services, as well as marking the end of partisan elections for city council.
No speakers stepped up to speak regarding the terms of Ordinance 4765. No comments and announcements were made by Mayor John Miller, members of the city council, or from city staff.
The council approved the consent agenda, comprising of seven items:
- Approval of bill disbursements for the period ending January 14 in the amount of $772,824.17
- Approval of payroll for the period ending January 7 in the amount of $794,662.76
- Approval of meeting minutes from the January 11 session
- Ordinance appointing Amanda Guntrum as interim city treasurer
- Ordinance reappointing Jeree Bronnbauer and David Seaton to new three-year terms, expiring in February 2025, to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission
- Ordinance reappointing Lavadna Hines and Lois Metzker to new three-year terms, expiring in February 2025, to the Historic Preservation Commission
- Ordinance reappointing Christopher Huckins to a new five-year term, expiring in February 2027, to the Building Code Review Committee.
In new business the following items were discussed:
- An ordinance to amend Title 13 – Public Services of the Municipal Code regarding septic tank truck operators (13.21) and grease traps (13.22) passed.
- An ordinance to approve invoices relating to payment for and agreements between the city and liability and worker’s compensation insurance carriers passed.
- An ordinance authorizing a fee waiver for construction of a single-family residence at 500 Howard St. for the Collinsville CUSD #10 vocational program passed.
There were no old business or announcement prior to adjournment. The council did enter a closed executive session, but nothing was made available prior to publication.
The council will reconvene on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. inside the Gateway Center.