The Collinsville City Council members Monday evening voted to approve a three-year contract to hire Eric Van Hook as the city's new police chief.
Van Hook replaces Collinsville Police Chief Scott Williams who was named the city's new city manager. Van Hook was most recently a captain with the O'Fallon Police Department and begins his new job as Collinsville's chief Monday.
In other business, City Council members voted to make two changes to the nonunion employees ordinance with the city. A nonunion part-time position as a cable access coordinator with the city will be changed to a full-time position.
Williams explained the change in the position will save the city money in the long run because the city intends begin making all public meetings accessible by the public via the city's local cable access channel.
Also, as part of the ordinance, council members voted unanimously to approve a two percent pay increase for all part-time employees. Council member Jeff Kypta did not attend the meeting. Salaried employees will see no change in their pay this year.
On Thursday, the City Council decided to table its plan for a tax increment financing district on St. Louis Road. Since April, city staff and the City Council had been working to create a new TIF district along St. Louis Road and Collinsville Road to the Fairmount Park race track.
The city cited a lack of public support as the reason for tabling the plan for now.
Eddy Smith, of L.E. Smith Jewelers at 9501 Collinsville Road, told the council he would like to see them move forward with the improvement plan.
"We like that development down there for business growth," Smith said. "I know that TIF is important and I know the pros and cons on it. I know wherever you guys have done a TIF it's worked well and that area can be well-developed but it needs TIF funds. I'd like to see you put it back on the table."
Williams explained why the city decided to table the TIF idea, for now.
Last Monday, the Unit 10 school board voted not to recommend the TIF project, and after the board meeting Williams met with Collinsville Mayor John Miller and the council members.
"It was felt it was in the best interest of the city at this time to hold off on the TIF district," Williams said. "But, the city staff still supports the TIF district."
Miller added that in the future, when the city decides to approach the TIF district along St. Louis Road and Collinsville Road again, it will find a developer before moving along with TIF plans.
"The hope is to develop that area in to something really, really nice," he said.