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Collinsville City Council Gets Work Done

I’ve only seen a town hall or city council meeting in documentaries and television shows. These fictional meetings are usually full of local residents who have come to argue or listen to things the council has to report on. So when I sat down in one of the eight white chairs next to the only other attendee at a recent Collinsville City Council meeting, Jennifer Wilkins, I knew I was in for a reality check.

The meeting took place in the lobby-like area of the Collinsville Town Hall. As soon as you walk through the double doors, you’re greeted by two rows of white chairs, the historic Collinsville clock mechanisms, and a high desk along the far wall.

The City Council members in attendance, David Bowen, Jeff Chandler, Janet Osborn, and Fred Shankles, as well as Mayor Johnny Traffanstedt and City Clerk Peggy Wright took their seats.  The meeting started with a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the approval of the last meeting’s minutes.

The mayor then gave brief overview of the meetings he has attended for the city, and Mrs. Wright updated the council on the town’s revenue and expenditures.

Councilman David Bowen brought up a new alert system that the Collinsville Fire Department has been using through a trial run. The system uses their phones as senders and receivers of emergency alerts and calls so that it can eliminate the need for radios or pagers members usually carry.

“Would you go back for your phone or your radio?” Bowen asked. Then he added that most people will return home if they left their phone over a radio or pager.

The system they are testing alerts the department through an app on their phone that they can download a text or a call.

“We would really like to see if other departments can get on with us,” Bowen said.

Within a few more weeks, a discussion will be held on whether or not the Collinsville Fire Department will buy the service.  It seems like this system would be easier and more convenient.

To add to list of possible projects in Collinsville, Councilwoman Osborn has been working with finding a grant writer to help seek funds for South Park to help make a softball field possible. The local girls softball team currently has no where to practice and usually plays games in other towns because of the lack of a playing field.

The idea of having the girls and local supporters sign petitions and write letters was also mentioned as a way of showing that the girls deserve a softball field.

With plans drawn for two softball fields, a pavilion, splash area, playground, and possible skate park to be built at South Park, the softball fields would be the first big step into making the park a go to area.

Despite the low attendance, it seemed like the things that needed to be discussed and brought to everyone’s attention was done so efficiently. The low numbers to me are a reflection of the fact that nothing worth arguing over has been brought up to make people want to attend.

They must be doing something right if people aren’t crowding the meetings with pitch forks and fire in protest, and it shows that people usually only show up to report, or because they’re curious like I was.

Needless to say, it’s nice to see this small town is getting big work done. 

Tags: Collinsville

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