Collinsville Community Development Department Plans Neighborhood Surveys Through Neighborhood Planning and Improvement Initiative

COLLINSVILLE – The Collinsville Community Development Department is launching a program designed to strengthen residential neighborhoods through the Neighborhood Planning and Improvement Initiative.

Lead planner Andi Yancey said the initiative started in 2020 but was shelved due to COVID-19 and other circumstances.

“What we’re looking to do is really empower people to take initiative, identify the issue, communicate it to the appropriate personnel so that we can be more proactive in our service efforts, enforcement of the code and our other outreach efforts,” Yancey said. .

The project aims to have city departments work more closely together to identify and respond to neighborhood issues and capital improvement needs while improving customer service, responsiveness, community outreach and educational efforts. It will also encourage citizen-led neighborhood organizations.

A needs assessment survey has been created and will serve as the first step in the program. Officials plan to get it to Collinsville residents this spring or early summer. Dissemination of the survey to residents will be through mail-outs, attendance at municipal events and the city’s website.

This fall, survey data will be reviewed and preliminary planning will begin. The plan divides Collinsville into 11 neighborhoods. By spring 2023, city officials want to start holding meetings to discuss survey results and develop plans.

The survey questions relate to where people live, quality of life, common problems, level of satisfaction with municipal services and interest in neighborhood associations and meetings. Going forward, the city aims to have a website that residents can visit so they can report any concerns, search for resources, and see what projects are happening in a given neighborhood.

“What we’ve heard a lot from everyone is, ‘I don’t know where to find these resources,’ and I think this website will give us an opportunity to be very holistic and organized by neighborhood,” said said Collinsville City Manager Mitch Bair. “We’re going to have all the information there based on what’s important to your neighborhood.”

Collinsville also renewed its contact with the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau, increasing its commitment from $100,000 to $125,000.

“This is our primary economic development strategy as you have all heard me say for the past 6 years and it continues to be even more refined as we move forward in time and have events to bring into this community,” Bair said.

A recent report on the tourist board’s social media reach and advertising efforts noted that hotel occupancy in Collinsville from February to April was 62.9% with an average daily rate of $90.50, generating $4.1 million for the local economy.

City officials also acknowledged the retirements of wastewater department employees Dale Kress and Larry Clubb, both of whom had 23 years of service with the city.

Norma P. Rex