By Jake Leonard
The annual budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22 was an item of discussion during the Highland City Council meeting on Monday, Mar. 21. No action was taken because of that discussion.
Rebecca Klug, a representative for the Highland Jaycees, submitted a special event application for the Jaycees Schweizerfest, slated for June 10-12 on the Highland Square. There is a 5K run pending for June 11 during the event. No funding is being sought.
Lynnette Schuepbach, a representative of the Highland Arts Council submitted a special event application for Art in the Park, planned for October 6-7 in Lindendale Park. $8,000 was requested to help with promotion of the event to bring people to Highland. The $8,000 allotment will be covered via an allocation from the city’s hotel/motel tax fund.
Matt Embry of the Highland Area Ministerial Alliance submitted a special event application for May 5 for a National Day of Prayer rally, planned to be held at the main pavilion on the Highland Square. No funding is being sought.
All three applications were approved by the council.
The council then approved an amendment to the city’s official zoning map. The amendment reflects 11 changes to the zoning map between March 15, 2021 and March 7, 2022.
The city will be entering a letter of understanding with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) relating to road work and improvements to be performed on Illinois Routes 143 and 160 and U.S. Highway 40. The construction area includes a roundabout, with Illinois 143 and U.S. 40 running east-west and Illinois 160 running north-south around it.
According to an estimate from IDOT, an estimate of 40 working days would be required for the project’s completion. A summary of the project specifies a four-mile project with a SMART overlay with mill and fill resurfacing, spot guardrail removal and replacement, and work required for compliances with the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.
There was no estimate as to when the project would begin and the subsequent completion of work relating to the project.
Following approval of the resolution relating to the letter of understanding, the council voted to approval the project plans and specifications provided by IDOT.
The city will be borrowing funds via the Water Pollution Control Loan program following approval of an ordinance.
The loan, serviced by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Infrastructure Financial Assistance division of the Bureau of Water, will be in the amount of $2,246,107.93. It will be payable semi-annually over a period of 20 years at an interest rate of 0.83 percent. The loan is in relation to a water infrastructure project set to start on April 8, running through May 3. The first loan payment will be on November 3, with the final payment due on May 3, 2043.
In relation to the project, which involves the rehabilitation of three trunk mains, related pipe, and associated manholes managed by the sanitary division of Public Works, Insituform Technologies USA, LLC of Chesterfield, MO was awarded a contract in the amount of $2,129,231.
The city is opting out of a participation in a program funding agreement with the Illinois Housing Development Authority relating to the Abandoned Residential Property Municipality Relief program, following approval of a resolution.
The city had previously received $45,000 for the maintenance and demolition of an abandoned residential property as part of the agreement signed on August 6, 2021.
Some surplus property will be sent off to sale or disposal, specifically equipment previously utilized by the Public Works department. Among the items to be sold at a local equipment action are a 2009 Pace American trailer and an Aries Industries camera system.
The council considered an amendment to Ordinance No. 2661 to amend territory, expand, and add incentives to the Madison County Discovery Enterprise Zone.
The ordinance was established in December 2014 in an intergovernmental effort to establish an enterprise zone, which included portions of the cities of Highland, Troy, and Collinsville, the villages of St. Jacob, Maryville, and Glen Carbon, and the Madison County government.
Collinsville, Highland, Troy, and Glen Carbon each requested amendments to the territory so that new developments will receive all the state and local amenities provided by the current enterprise zone. The additions from all four communities expand the enterprise zone from 13.2 square miles to 13.53 square miles, an increase of 0.33 square miles from the existing map.
The amendments to the enterprise zone were approved. All participating communities and the Madison County Board will need to approve the intergovernmental agreement reflecting the changes.
It has been four years since the city’s electric services regulations in Chapter 78, Article II, Section 6 relating to net metering and interconnection. Changes in state requirements on net metering and interconnection prompted the city to repeal and revise its current policy to reflect and comply with the new changes. The ordinance was approved.
Expenses in the amount of $749,626 were approved for the period ending March 18.
The Highland City Council reconvenes on Monday, Apr. 4.