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Collinsville approves extension for redevelopment project, IL-157 updates

By Devese “Dee” Ursery

Decisions to amend the redevelopment agreement between Ardin Spirits and the city of Collinsville, as well as updates for the Illinois 157 intersection reconstruction project were discussed and voted on at the Collinsville city council meeting. 

At the Aug. 8 meeting, city staff also sought support for the passing of a resolution to apply for a St. Clair County Parks Grant. The CMC Rotary Club was highlighted during the meeting and a new paramedic/firefighter was sworn in. 

Council members voted to pass a resolution to modify the redevelopment agreement between Derik Reiser, owner of Ardent Spirits and the city of Collinsville. Reiser is requesting a 6.5 months extension until March 31, 2024, as it relates to Phase III, according to Travis Taylor, community development planner.

“As we’re aware Ardin Spirits owns all of the commercial block of North Clay Street, on the 100 block of Clay Street,” Taylor said. “They’re looking to extend phase III, which includes the development and redevelopment of tenant spaces on the western portion of Clay which includes the rear parking lot.”

Taylor said the original date for completion was Sept. 10, but they ran into fly-in labor issues, which is the reason for the extension. 

“They have submitted building permits and are working through for the tenant finishes,” Taylor said. “ We have not seen finishes for the rear parking lot yet, but they are working towards completion.”

The Illinois 157 intersection reconstruction project near Horseshoe Lake Road was reopened on Aug. 2, to through-traffic, according to Dennis Kress, public works director. The Illinois Department of Transportation opened one lane in each direction, and those lane restrictions will continue for at least another six weeks. Currently traffic signals are on flash and will remain that way for another two weeks.

Kress said they are expecting the completion date for this project to be around mid-October. He said the engineer told him they are actually ahead of schedule on this project. 

“If they don’t foresee any more problems, they’re going to be out working everyday to get the lanes poured back in and working everyday to get the highway back open,” Kress said.

Kress also updated the council on the progress of the city-wide limb pick up initiative. He said the street department received 881 requests to pick up limb piles. 

“I can say that our crews are picking up two piles for every caller that has called in, so far,” Kress said. “We’ve hauled 511 truck loads of limbs or 6,695 cubic yards of debris.”

Kress said incurring labor costs from the storms on July 1 and then again on July 26, were in excess of $85,855. City officials estimated about $39,678 in damage to city property, excluding some repairs that need to be done to the Gateway Center roof. The total cost of damage in response to the storms is $163,848 which does not include the equipment rates. Those rates are $120,777 on the equipment alone. 

According to Kress, many of the properties still have debris laying in the yards and up in trees so we expect to finish up the city-wide clean-up in the next couple two weeks. 

“We are no longer accepting calls, but people are still calling in,” Kress said. “We did extend the call-in period another week, so we will be going across the city one more time.”

 The Collinsville-Maryville-Caseyville Rotary Club was recognized during the meeting for all of its charitable deeds throughout the city. John Maue, CMC Rotary president, spoke of the club’s history and mentioned some of the fundraisers they support that show their humanitarian efforts on a localized level. 

Maue explained the club  was founded in Chicago in 1905, making it one of the oldest service organizations in the United States. He said the Rotary International has over 1.4 million members and 46,000 clubs chartered in nearly every country throughout the world.

Rotary exists to  promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, improve sanitation, foster good and protect mothers and children.

“Some of the fundraisers that we are involved in would be the Annual Trivia Night and the funds donated to the Collinsville Community Fund, in honor of Bill Metzger, a past CMC Rotary member who lost his battle with cancer last year,” Maue said. “We also do a golf memorial golf classic called The Johnny O  Memorial and we provide college scholarships to applicants on behalf of, also a past Rotary member in John Ostanik”

In addition to the two fundraisers, the Rotary is also active at the Italian Fest, Super Bowl Raffle, the Bourbon Raffle, as well as the citrus sales on Clay and Main Streets. The rotary club also participates at Smokin On’ Main and the Horseradish Festival.  According to Mowey, these fundraisers contributed over $50,000 to the club bank account and then distributed in a variety of ways. He said 97 percent of funds raised stays within the community and three percent goes to the Rotary International in support of club needs.

“In addition to the scholarships and the Collinsville Community Funds, we also support the middle school program, movies in the park, community fireworks displays, light-up parade and many other requests that come on a regular basis,” Maue said.

Maue discussed community outreach initiatives that aren’t part of their fundraising events, like Faith In Action, where CMC joins efforts with other service organizations to maintain yards of the elderly. He said they also do a monthly trash pick up where volunteers meet at Old Herald’s and pick up trash along Clay and Main Streets and in the alleys, as well.

Council members voted to approve all six items on the consented agenda, which consisted of city bills, salary of city employees and some general house-keeping of city hall business. 

“One of the most impactful campaigns would be our teen safety event. This is championed by police chief and our Rotary member Steve Evans. It’s held here at the Collinsville Convention Center and on these two days we bring in 450 to 500 sophomore-aged students from a variety of high schools around the Metro-east area. Each day consists of the awareness of driving under the influence and distracted driving and what the life-long consequences of those choices would be,” Maue said.

“One of the most unexpected discoveries that I’ve found as a Rotary member, to be perfectly honest with you, is just how kind and generous our community is. It’s displayed through the amount of outpouring that our community pour into our organization which allows us to sow back into the community.”


Collinsville Fire Chief John Bailot, swore in new paramedic/firefighter Bradley Borkowski during the meeting. Borkowski, a 12 year veteran, is also captain of Northwest St. Clair County Fire Protection District, which is a volunteer department. For the traditional pinning ceremony Borkowski had his father, Chester, who is chief of the Northwest Fire Protection District do the honors.

Councilman Tony Furhmann mentioned that the council will honor the next four graduates of the United States Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program during the next meeting on  

Aug. 22. 

Furhmann said the program is a partnership between the city of Collinsville and the Collinsville Community Unit School District 10 Special Education Department. 

This initiative is the first US Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship program in the area for high school students with disabilities, according to the CUSDF 10 website. 

Council members voted and passed a resolution for the city of Collinsville to apply for the St. Clair County Parks Grant. According to Kimberly Cauughran, parks and recreations director, the value of the grant is $50,000 and will be used for improvements to Morris Hills Park.

During the meeting all six items of the consented agenda were approved. Notable items, like city bills for the period ending July 31, which amounted to over $1.2 million and payroll for the period of July 21, at $957,410. Minutes for the July 25  meeting were also approved. 


1 Comment

  1. Anonymous on August 15, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    I like these updates…as a concerned citizen…living in collinwood…It is good to see all the updates and progress that is going on to improve our community…. woodland park is very nice…thank you Kenny Plake..

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