By Zachary Daum
New Mascoutah Police Officer Christopher Hoernis was sworn in by city clerk Melissa Schanz at the Feb. 6, 2023 City Council meeting.
Mascoutah Police Chief Scott Waldrup introduced Hoernis to the council. “He came from the sheriff’s department and has some considerable experience, about 12 and a half years. He worked over in St. Clair County jail for a number of years and the last year and a half he worked under Captain Fleshren. To get somebody with the caliber of Chris is exciting. Congratulations Chris.”
A 2023 strategic plan was voted on and approved. This plan was created by Arndt Municipal Support, Inc. with the goals to: Complete City facility improvements including a public safety facility, pursue downtown rehabilitation, improvements and city beautification, complete infrastructure planning and improvements, enhance community and economic development activity, strengthen intergovernmental relationships and conduct staffing restructuring and reorganization.
Engineering services approved a contract with BHMG Engineers, Inc. not to exceed $54,000 to engineer and design services for the distribution underbuild on the 138KV Transmission Line 2 Project. This project is the existing distribution line that will be transitioned to a new line.
The council approved the approval to change the order for the steel pole purchase for the Electric Phase II project. This will add $157,350 to the cost of the project.
The council tabled an engineering service agreement with Gonzalez Companies, LLC for preparation of the Water System Facilities Project Plan for further discussion. This plan would extend the water main along Illinois Route 4 to connect to the Boeing facilities near the water system south of Illinois Route 161.
Mascoutah’s council approved a bid and authorization to award a contract to furnish all labor, equipment and materials for $1,197,261.62. KRB Excavating, Inc. of Trenton submitted the lowest bid at this cost. This will pay the cost of all labor, equipment and materials for construction of the South, John and Independence Streets Reconstruction Project. Councilman Battas voted against this motion, stating that he believes the bid should be researched further before moving forward.
The South, John and Independence Streets Reconstruction project was also voted on and approved by the council. This approves a contract with Oates Associates for construction services in the amount of $126,000 to facilitate this reconstruction project, with an amendment clause stating that if the city were to hire an engineer, the duties would be transferred to that person. The project would reconstruct and improve said streets, such as constructing a new concrete gutter, concrete sidewalk and concrete driveway aprons, removing existing oil and chip pavement and constructing hot-mix asphalt pavement on a new aggregate base. This would take roughly 3 to 4 months to complete after the starting date.
The approval of updates to the SCADA systems for the city $38,400. SCADA is used for controlling, monitoring, and analyzing the water distribution and sewer collection system.
The annual 4th of July Picnic was discussed. The cost of the fireworks display was roughly 15% higher than last year, with the total for the same show as last year being $16,660. A decision was not reached on what they would be doing, but the current plan is to keep the show the same.
The assembling of a Property Maintenance Appeals Board was discussed. This board would consist of members of the city council who would meet as needed to review appeals of property code violations. It was decided that this board’s functions would be handled by the full city council for the foreseeable future.