By Jake Leonard
Prior to the official meeting of the City of Collinsville on Tuesday, Feb. 22, there was a public hearing on a potential pre-annexation agreement in relation to 315 Longhi Road, owned by John and Christina Geiler, where the occupants have already tapped onto city water services. There were no remarks during the public hearing, so the hearing was quickly dismissed.
Upon entering the general session of the council, the pre-annexation agreement between the city and the Geilers were approved.
Two ordinances rezoning real estate from B-2 limited commercial to Uptown Collinsville District were presented.
The first involved property, located at 317 W. Main Street, is owned by Bailey Lutz and Jeremy Martin. They will be occupying the upstairs for residential use, with the first floor intended for commercial use. The commercial use is not yet known but was formerly a flower shop. There are planned renovation intentions for inside the building, with outdoor renovations not yet known. The request was approved.
The other property, located at 126 W. Main Street, is owned by Doug Hartmann. The intended use for the building, formerly a Dollar General store, is for a business, Willow & Grace Boutique. The building is mixed-use, with the entire first floor being occupied by the business, while the second floor comprises of apartments. The request was also approved.
The council continued the conversation stemming from the January 25 meeting to amend Title 17 – Zoning as it relates to wired and monitored alarm systems. The discussion was a follow-up on a request from Amarok LLC relating to an alarm system on wired fences. Due to having to establish additional guidelines and having to add another layer of administration on the matter, it was tabled at the time.
However, clearer language was expressed in Section 17.058.050.F relating to these systems. Some of the criteria for wired fences for the purposes of establishing alarmed security include administrative review, construction consistency based on zoning and the surrounding area, must not constitute as a hazard or nuisance, and a maximum height of eight feet among other factors. The amendment to the code was approved.
There were no matters of council discussion. In public comments, Jeanne Lomax spoke in response to a required sign-off to a waiver relating to a release of claims from personal injury relating to public transportation, which is leased to the city via Madison County Transit.
“This is really troubling,” stated Lomax. “This is public transportation, taxpayer funded. The shuttle bus is provided from Madison County Transit, leased to the city.”
“This is like telling anybody who’s going to catch the bus at the bus station next to the police department that they have to fill out a waiver releasing the city of any claims of personal injury while on the shuttle bus,” Lomax added.
Lomax continued by reading the language she expressed deep concern for, specifying potential scenarios that an accident could happen.
The shuttle bus is often utilized by senior citizens and the disabled, according to Lomax. She also referenced her daughter, who suffers from a disability and actively uses the service for transportation to and from work when Lomax is not available to transport her.
“Had she have signed this like she was asked to sign it, without bringing it to me, she would have had no idea what she was signing,” Lomax continued. “The implications of it would have been…and I cannot see this being held up in a court of law.”
Lomax asked the council to rethink the idea of requiring senior citizens and the disabled to sign off on this waiver. She also mentioned that she forwarded this complaint to Madison County Transit to alert them that the city is wanting this waiver signed.
She continued in inquiring whether they would impose a similar waiver for the water park. She again requested the council to rethink this waiver policy.
There were limited comments from the mayor, council members, and city staff before taking on the consent agenda and new business.
The council approved the following items under the consent agenda: payment of bills for the period ending February 11 in the amount of $2,537,605.53, payroll for the period ending February 4 in the amount of $755,941.97, approval of meeting minutes for the February 8 meeting, and an ordinance relating to disclosure of closed session meeting minutes for the months of July through December 2021.
In new business, an ordinance was presented to authorize the mayor to sign off on Amendment 1 to the Cityworks License and Maintenance Agreement with Azteca Systems, LLC relative to permit, licensing, and asset management software licensing and maintenance. The licensing deal will run through 2025. The ordinance was approved.
The Collinsville City Council will be back in session on Tuesday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m.