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Adoption of the 2024 CIP and third-out fire engine approved in city council meeting

By Devese “Dee” Ursery

dursery@timestribunenews.com  

COLLINSVILLE — During the Collinsville City Council Meeting, city staff not only discussed the adoption of the 2024 Capital Improvement Plan, but ordinances for tax breaks in regards to a few obligation bonds were also communicated. Several contractual bids were discussed, as well as the approval for the purchase of a pre-owned fire truck.

Besides contract bids awarded for different projects throughout the City an ordinance was approved for the purchase of a 2024 pre-owned fire engine. The old fire truck was taken out of service in July of this year due to mechanical and structural issues.

In the regular bimonthly meeting held on Tuesday Dec. 12, Fire Chief John Bailot, Collinsville Fire Department reported that the department urgently requires a replacement for their 2002 fire engine.  The proposed solution is to purchase a pre-owned fire engine aligned with the fire chief’s recommendation to address immediate needs

“Because in today’s market it will take upwards of 48 months to build and deliver new fire apparatus, and this fire engine will serve as the department’s ‘third-out’ unit,’” Bailot said. “The 2024 Capital Improvement Plan, which was approved earlier this evening, appropriates $375,000 for the purchase.”

 According to Bailot this ordinance empowers the city manager, fire chief and the chief financial officer to finalize the purchase in 2024, upon identifying a suitable fire engine.
“The equipment from the old fire engine will be transferred to the new fire truck,” Bailot continued.

City Manager Derek Jackson presented the 2024 CIP, which was approved by council. The CIP contains 95 funded projects that will cost over $33.5 million. In addition to that there are also 99 mid-year review projects for a total of $6.5 million. The mid-year review projects will be considered upon completion of the annual financial audit later in 2024.

“Overall, I think we’ve put together a really strong CIP which advances our list of projects, which advances a lot of our strategic planned goals within the City,” Jackson said. 

Jackson said that he is forecasting potentially $8 to $9 million in rebates and incentives from the Solar Panel projects as well.

“This year was the first year we took it a step further. In addition to the document  itself, we implemented an interactive GIS map on the City’s website. We’ll do the same for the 2024 projects,”Jackson said.

“That way, if any residents or any contractors, businesses, whoever wants to take a look at it, zoom around town and see what’s taking place.”

Council approved a contract  bid in the amount of $369,063 from Korte and Luitjohan, Inc., for aeration piping replacement at the Water/Wastewater Treatment Plant. The contract also contains a bid alternate No. 1 that includes using stainless steel piping.

Superintendent of Utilities William Jones said there are two goals that this project  covers: invest in public infrastructure and support that plant’s municipal service.

“By using stainless steel piping, we will eliminate safety issues for our staff being suspended eight feet over the aeration basins to coat piping, eliminate maintenance coating costs, and increase life duration,” Jones said. “ The scope of work provided in the contract consists of removal and replacement of the existing aeration piping construction services.”

Aeration is a critical component of the aeration treatment process of the wastewater treatment plant. It provides mixing and oxygen to bacteria (micro-organisms) in the wastewater to break down (biodegrade) organic matter. 

The existing ductile iron piping system supplying air to the aeration tanks is original to the treatment facility (1972) and has exceeded its design life. It is in poor condition and unrepairable, per official documents.

Another ordinance regarding the Water/Wastewater Treatment Plant was approved at the council meeting, which was for the Purchase of Water and Wastewater Treatment process chemicals for 2024.

Jones said, 2024 chemical and delivery bids represent an overall increase in prices of

2.65% from 2023, and that is water and wastewater combined.

The chemical cost for the Wastewater Treatment Plants are estimated at $576,862, a decrease of 0.4% compared to 2023. Chemical costs at the Water Treatment Plant are estimated at $320,463; an increase of 7.87% compared to 2023 chemical costs. 

Bids were opened on Friday, No. 17 and Dec. 7, for the annual purchase of chemicals to be used in the treatment processes at the Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants for calendar year 2024. The following low bids were received:

Lime delivering, Powdered Lime (Hydrate) is Mississippi Lime; at a 15% increase

Aluminum Sulfate (Liquid Aluminum) is Hawkins at a 0.7% decrease.

The Fluoride, Hydrofluosilicic Acid is Chemstream Inc. with a 18.7% decrease.

Carbon Dioxide is CK Supply, a 68.5% increase.

Sulfamic Acid (a 43.9% decrease) and Quick Lime (a 17.5% increase) is Mississippi Lime. 

There was no increase incurred with Lime delivering.

Jones continued with a recommendation for approval to waive the purchasing policy to allow for the sole source purchase of polymers from Polydyne, Inc. Polymer is a necessary additive for the bio-solids dewatering process being installed at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“Waiving the purchasing policy for the purchase of polymer will allow staff to optimize dewatering to minimize processing costs,” Jones said. “This would give staff the flexibility to test a multitude of polymers to optimize the sludge dewatering process; select multiple formulas of match and change characteristics of the biosolids once the permanent dewatering system is online.”

Jones said the anticipated 2024 estimated polymer cost is approximately $200,000, same as last year. Future propayment of polymer will be included in the annual bid request and awards along with the rest of the chemicals used in the Water and Wastewater Treatment process once the Biosolid project is completed. Polydyne is the largest polymers distributor in the world.

“We will go out for bids in the future, but right now our biosolid system is not completed so we don’t know exactly what type of polymer is going to be needed for the new system,” Jones said.

Contracts were authorized to the lowest qualified bidders for the purchase of street maintenance materials and supplies through the Motor Fuel Tax Fund. The Illinois Department of Transportation requires that maintenance materials purchased with MFT funds be bid out annually. Road salt is bid through a joint purchase with Madison County, according to Troy Turner, city engineer.

“So, with the MFT we typically go with Madison County for the awarding of salt,” Turner said. “They bid for all the communities in Madison County which is a great service to us.” 

According to Turner, two items came up as exceptions this year, both dealing with oil. He said, they use the oil index when estimating the cost on what to spend on our oil for oil and chip and then for the preparation of subgrade. 

“When we looked at the oil index there was about a zero percent increase. So, we just did a 10% increase to the amount in the engineer’s estimate that came in at 22% higher than expected and 54% higher than expected,” Turner said.

“The PEP Bituminous Prime is not what we use for oil and chip. That’s just something we use to go and prepare for the subgrade.“

All items on the consented agenda for the past city council meeting were approved, including three tax abatements for general obligation bonds for series 2014, 2017b and 2020. 

According to official documents, the 2014 Bonds were originally issued in 2007 to fund developer reimbursements related to the Collinsville Crossings development. The bonds were partially refinanced in 2014 to take advantage of a lower interest rate.

Approval of the ordinance will allow Madison and St. Clair Counties to NOT levy property tax for the City’s 2014 Bonds.

Debt service payments for the 2014 Bonds will total $651,400 paid from the Collinsville Crossings Business District Fund using sales tax. 

The 2017B Bonds were originally issued in 2009 as general obligation debt to secure a low interest rate for the reimbursement of eligible project costs to Lodging Hospitality Management, Inc. This bond was  for the redevelopment of the Doubletree Hotel located at 1000 Eastport Plaza Drive. The bonds were partially refinanced in 2017 to take advantage of a lower interest rate.

This ordinance will also allow Madison and St. Clair Counties to NOT levy property tax for the City’s 2017B Bonds.

Debt service payments for the 2017B Bonds will total $154,070.00, paid from the Tax Increment Financing Fund. 

The General Obligation Bonds, Series 2020 were originally issued in 2006 to fund the sewer plant expansion and related projects. The bonds were partially refinanced in 2012 to take advantage of a lower interest rate. In 2020, the bonds were refinanced again to save the City substantial money.

This ordinance will allow Madison and St. Clair Counties to NOT levy property tax for the City’s 2020 Bonds as well.

Debt service payments for the 2020 Bonds will total $1,416,800 paid from the Water/Wastewater Fund. 

During the regular city council meeting motions were passed for the payment of Payment of Bills for the period ending Dec. 1, in the amount of $1,065,839. A motion was approved  for the payment of payroll for the period ending Nov. 24, in the amount of $908,539. Minutes of the Nov. 28, city council meeting as prepared by the City Clerk were approved as well.

The next  bimonthly regular city council meeting will be determined at a later date due to the Christmas holiday. 

 

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