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Project plans for 2023 focus of Collinsville Council

By Devese “Dee” Ursery

The Collinsville City Council met on Jan. 10 with a lengthy discussion of the new Capital Improvement Plan. 

City Manager Mitch Bair and Dustinh Ziebold, chief financial advisor, presented the new CIP,  providing council members with a detailed list of requested capital improvement items. The summary consisted of a list of funded projects with their total costs, broken down by department.

Bair said the mid-year review is for city staff to discuss the recommendations with the city council to ensure they align with the Council’s priorities. City management and council members had positive input going into the end of last year.

“It felt like we had a really good handle going into this year’s CIP based on feedback from conversations with staff and council,” said Bair. “I think that really closed a hole and allowed us to move forward with a lot of these projects and make some educated assumptions.”

An overview of the CIP summary revealed that the amount funded for department projects in 2023 is at $9,024,671 million with over $2 million pending for mid-year review. That pushes the total over $11 million with the public works department showing the majority of spending at $3,061,000 according to the report.

“I think that $9 million funded ability is very strong for us and represents a big push on 2023,” Bair said. “As well as the volume of projects by departments.”

The first project to be discussed was the city-wide IT projects which were funded at $541,000 with the mid-year review projected at $70,000, giving the projects a total of $611,000. There are four funded projects that pertain to this department and they are: courtroom restorations, on-premises data storage, network infrastructure and mobile data terminal replacement. 

The courtroom restoration project alone accounted for $500,000 of the funds. Staff raised the budget on this project because of issues with asbestos, mold and the work needed to rectify the problem correctly. 

Another set of funded projects discussed was for the Fire Department. A major project for this department is the replacement of Firehouse 2, with design and engineering included. The Fire Department Master Plan Committee will be presenting the recommended plan for the future of the new facilities in February of this year, according to the report. Design and engineering will begin soon after the master plan is finalized.

The current building was constructed in 1966 and was designed for two firefighters and one small fire engine. Fire stations are anticipated to last for up to 40-years and this building has long fulfilled its time of service. City officials said the fire department has outgrown this building and it no longer meets the needs of a modern fire station. 

Other funded projects regarding public safety include an ambulance replacement, overhead door controllers, tornado sirens, siren control, water rescue, mobile radio replacement and firehose. The replacement of the command staff vehicle is slated for mid-year review.

“We’re advocating for the replacement within this push, but the mid-year review,” Bair said. “That would allow us to do a full analysis and consider driving patterns for all of our fleet vehicles.”

Bair stated the analysis would not be performed on dump trucks or heavy equipment vehicles, but on traditional vehicles like pick-up trucks and cars. The new fire station will be funded at $250,000 for the design and engineering phase of the project with the source of those funds coming from the Northeast Business District.

Funded police department projects include dispatch remodel, jail renovation, HVAC unit replacement, body cameras, license plate recognition cameras and an unmarked vehicle replacement. The masonry replacement and patrol vehicle replacement are both scheduled for mid-year review.

The dispatch remodeling project will include a $250,000 grant that will offset the $380,000 price tag.

Gateway Center has four funded projects within its department that need attention. Those are HVAC replacement, digital outdoor sign replacement, table and table cart replacement and replacement of trash receptacles.

The parks and recreations department, by far, has the most projects of any department. Bair focused his report on the more “urgent” ones. The first one being the Sports Complex redevelopment project and it was funded at $28,000 to replace trash receptacles and picnic benches and the other one is the overall Sports Complex. 

According to the report the goal of this project is to modernize the Sports Complex’s safety and functionality. As well as create a facility that is a regional sports destination. The intent is to draw sports tourism to the area not only creating revenues for parks and recreation, but a driver in economic development.

“We have in here ‘to be determined’ because we are in the process of still having a draft and preliminary feasibility study and business plan,” Bair said. “Staff is working to get that nailed down with the consultant.”

Other projects that staff deemed urgent were two Woodland Park projects. The first being a riffle project, which is a 319 grant, a section pertaining to the Clean Water Act Grant Program. The program works cooperatively with units of local governments and other organizations toward the mutual goal of protecting the water quality in Illinois through the control of Nonpoint solution (NPS) pollution. 

The program includes providing funding to these groups to implement projects that utilize cost-effective best management practices (BMP) on a watershed scale. Bair stated that it is a $100,000 project and the city’s component of that is $50,000.

“It eliminates all the soil and sedimentation depositing into the lake,” Bair said. “It also allows us to set up and have a conversation next year about dredging those lakes and restoring that viability.” 

Bair said those lakes in the park function as a detention pond for everything upstream. 

“We don’t have a viable ecosystem out there and this is the first step toward that goal,” he said.

The other Woodland Park project is the competition of facilities and pavilions within the park. That project is $600,000 and it is partially grant funded as well. The Glidden Park restoration project is also a grant project and it will be $235,000 to go in and make the necessary improvements. 

Willoughby Heritage Farm is another riffle project and there are also issues with erosion related to buildings behind the farmhouse. 

The empty lot that sits on the far side of the Collins House will be the location of the Uptown Event Pavilion project. It will be used as a multipurpose facility for city events as well as a rentable space for private events, according to the report. This project comes in at $50,000 for design and engineering to get through the process this year. 

The Redmon Event Plaza project is a grass lot located on the west side of the Activity Center and Aqua Park. The plan is to turn the space into a food  truck park and outdoor hall of fame for Collinsville athletes. This will also take $50,000 for design and engineering. 

“Both projects are eligible under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA),” Bair said. “We anticipate once we have those designs or understand what those costs are we’ll be moving forward in late 2023 or 2024.”

In regards to the Public Works Department, there are two large projects that Bair discussed. The first big project in this department that the city looked at was the Public Works facility. This project involves the relocation of various operations of the Public Works Department to a centrally located site within the city. The move is to make overall operations more efficient.

In the Streets Department, there are 21 projects with 11 of them funded and the other 10 scheduled for mid-year review. The ones that Bair focused his discussion on were street resurfacing of 23 streets and street conversions from oil and chip to permanent surface on Saratoga and Yorktown. That will be $650,000 for that project.

In other news from the meeting, the Council passed a Fair Housing Resolution in association with the City’s application for grant. The application is a requirement to accompany applications for Illinois grant programs.

Council voted to grant Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen, Inc $59,084 for preliminary engineering services in connection with the road construction of Summit Avenue from Alco Drive to Dooner Drive. The pavement in this area is in poor condition and needs to be resurfaced. 

The estimated cost for the preliminary engineering, construction engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction is $543,879. The city was awarded $363,836 in federal funds and a local construction match of $77,959 is expected to be approved by Madison County officials. The total cost to the city is estimated to be $102,084 that will be paid utilizing funds from the Motor Fuel Tax.

Kimberly Caughran, director of parks and recreation requested Council also passed a resolution of support for the 2023 Madison County Park Enhancement (PEP) Grant. This year’s grant is funded at $4.50 per capita for the Madison County population of Collinsville, setting the total at $97,168.

Caughran stated that funds would be used to replace outdated and unsafe amenities within the park, specifically: picnic tables, Uptown Event picnic tables, trash receptacles and receptacle lids.

The next bimonthly regular council meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Jan.24.

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