The Collinsville City Council on Monday night voted to allow the Collinsville Area Recreation District to pass ownership of the historic Miner's Theater to the Miner's Institute Foundation and forgive the district its TIF debt.
The council passed the ordinance amendment that approved TIF funds be spent by the Collinsville Area Recreation District to rehabilitate the historical building. The ordinance amendment removes the requirement that CARD pay 25 percent of the funds back to the city if it does not maintain ownership of the building for four years after receiving TIF funding. Councilman Jeff Kypta voted against the amendment, saying he thought it was too early to make the decision.
CARD and the Miner's Institute Foundation have reached a legal agreement that transfers the deed of the building from CARD to the foundation and CARD would agree to provide the foundation with $21,000 to maintain the building for one year. As part of the agreement, CARD agrees to not attempt to get back any of the money it has already spent on the building from the institution and will be offered the right of first refusal to buy the building back should the foundation ever decide to get rid of it.
"We've been going through this for a long time with the Miner's Theater and I am glad to finally come to an agreement," said Councilman Michael Tognarelli. "Whatever happens to Miner's is going to happen to it, but I hope it does succeed. If it doesn't do well, then I know we did what we could to try to help its success."
Councilwoman Nancy Moss and Mayor John Miller agreed.
"Both entities have certainly put a lot of money into this building and I hope they can get it up and running again," Moss said of the Foundation.
"I think we're doing the right thing," Miller added. "I think Miner's is a great facility that can be a great, great facility if they can get the grant money to do that."
In other city council business:
The council approved paying $83,090 to Collinsville police officer Christopher Warren as part of a workers' compensation agreement. Warren was injured in 2011 when he slipped and fell on ice during a police call. He injured his lower back, legs and body and sustained a 25 percent loss of the use of his body. He has returned to work and the settlement covers his medical expenses, temporary disability benefits and the permanent partial disability of his body.
The council approved the purchased of a 2005 ambulance from Glen Carbon for $40,000. The ambulance, which has around 33,000 miles and has been "well-maintained," according to Collinsville Fire Chief Mark Emert, will bring the cities number of reliable ambulances to three. The city also has two less-reliable, older ambulances with more than 100,000 miles on each and high repair costs, that will be sold to offset the purchase of the 2005 ambulance.
Finally, the council approved a resolution that gives Mayor Miller permission to sign an application for a Community Development Block Grant for $100,000 to replace aged water mains on South Aurora. The mains are the oldest in the city, according to Dennis Kress, director of the city's water/wastewater department. The current system pushes about 110 gallons of water a minute through fire hydrants. Water main systems should provide at least 1,000 gallons of water minute through a fire hydrant, Kress said.