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New officials seated during Collinsville Council meeting

Newly-elected mayor Jeff Stehman is pictured here being sworn into office. (City of Collinsville photo)

By Devese “Dee” Ursery

The transition of newly elected city officials took place during the regular bimonthly Collinsville City Council meeting on Tuesday.

New Collinsville Mayor Jeff Stehman signed several annexes and various agreements in his first session. Stehman took the time out to thank the outgoing mayor, John Miller, for being a great example of professionalism and a good mentor. He also thanked the citizens for their trust in him and discussed future plans for the City.

Stehman and elected council members Tony Hausmann and Tony Fuhrmann were sworn in by the Illinois Fifth Appellate Court Justice John Barberis. During the swearing in ceremony each official was joined by their significant other. 

Newly elected councilman Tony Fuhrmann is being sworn in. (City of Collinsville photo)

During the transition former mayor, John Miller was presented with a plaque thanking him for his service. In his last comments as mayor, Miller thanked his Lord and Savior, as well as his family. He also thanked city staff and the citizens of Collinsville for allowing him to serve for and with them. Miller recounted all of the city employees that he has worked with and for and commended them on the job they’ve done during his term.

“I’ve counted nine fire chiefs, five police chiefs, several city council members and finance officers, not to mention the countless employees that have done such a fantastic job and they’ve made the city council and myself look good,” Miller said.

Miller explained that the job of the mayor is not to just sit back and direct or appoint people to do certain things, but to be a leader for the city and its citizens as well as promote the city. “I couldn’t get a better group of people to work with or for; and so to keep it short, I bid you good-bye from dais,” Miller said.         

Re-elected councilman Tony Hausmann is pictured here being sworn in (City of Collinsville photo)

Miller said his career with Collinsville has been a great journey and that the City will continue to be in good hands under the new mayor’s watch. 

“I wish the best for the upcoming new mayor and his council,” Miller said. “They will do great things.”

In Stehman’s first action as mayor, the council approved and he proclaimed May 14-20 as National Police Week and May 15, as National Police Officer’s Memorial Day. In the consent agenda portion of the meeting, all items from the payment of city bills and salaries to the recording of minutes were approved by the council. A resolution to reappoint finance director, Dustin Ziebold to the Police Pension Board.

The council also approved an ordinance for Stehman to sign an employment agreement between Interim City manager Derek Jackson and the city of Collinsville. According to official documents, Jackson will obtain all duties and compensations pertaining to city manager until a permanent city manager is appointed. The agreement was entered into record on May 9. 

Council approved the authorization of an agreement between the City and ATI Systems, INC. for the purchase of and installation of four tornado and severe storm warning sirens. The agreement asks for an increase of $14,779, in order to purchase programming necessary to make the sirens automatic making the total cost $114,779. The project was funded by the 2023 Capital Improvement Plan and since it was over $100,000 it had to be approved by the council.

An ordinance authorizing a fourth change order, this time in the amount of $67,815 to the  contract with Millennium Construction for the renovations of the Old Courtroom.

According to public works director Dennis Kress the change order is for design changes that resulted from plaster removal and the decision to leave the original brick walls and ceiling exposed. Other work will include electrical improvements, changes to the HVAC system, repairs to the original ceiling and additional costs associated with the wall framing and finishing.

Kress explained that with the addition of the fourth change order the adjusted total contract price would go up to  $413,122. Kress also explained why the project came in at 5.2 percent over budget. 

“I did not take into consideration the consulting fees,” Kress said. “With the combination of the consulting fees and this change order, we are 5.2 percent over budget.”

According to Kress, the total budget of the project was for $500,000, but currently sits at 

$525,802. He also said that this will be the last change order for this project and discussed the updated completion schedule. “We see this project being completed the first week of July with the installation of furnishings due next week,” Kress continued.

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