Projects move forward in Vandalia

Posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm

The City of Vandalia’s Board of Aldermen authorized city staff to take a next step with two major projects during their June 10 meeting inside the Lange Building.
According to city minutes, aldermen authorized the staff to proceed with bidding the Million Gallon Tank (MGT) Project.
Chief Water Plant Operator Darren Berry led the discussion in the meeting.
The project, which will be funded through the Water Capital Surcharge Fund, is expected to cost well over $100,000. It was reported that the costs are difficult to estimate.
A few months ago, divers inspected the tank and discovered the roof was in need of repairs.
Mixing systems are also being considered to go inside the MGT. According to the meeting minutes, by mixing the water in the tank, it will help in further reduction of disinfection by-products.
Berry introduced Tom Wells, PE with Trabue, Hansen, and Hinshaw. Wells told the group that they will be sending bids for the MGT project to about six companies with a bid alternate for mixing systems.
After bids are received, they will be reviewed and a recommendation will be made, which will be brought back to the council for approval.
A second authorization was given by aldermen for the staff to proceed with the Manhole Rehabiliation Project of up to $150,000. Funds for this inflow and infiltration reduction project come from the Sewer Capital Surcharge Fund.
According to a manhole survey done as part of the mapping project, it was found that there are 303 manholes in the city and approximately 146 are in need of attention.
This rehabilitation will be an ongoing process, and the city expects to be able to address 30 to 60 manholes this year.
There are 303 manholes in the city and approximately 146 are in need of attention, this according to the survey.
The area with the “worst” manholes will be first.
City Administrator Alan Winders added that there is money in the budget to fund this project, and the city hopes to add the project onto a bid project from a much larger project, if feasible.
The city is required by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to be addressing and reducing I&I. Lining manholes will help that and more importantly will greatly lengthen the life of the manhole by protecting the structural integrity of the manhole. This will be an on-going process and priority.
The approval means the project will now proceed without additional council action.
Utility Bill Write-Offs
A discussion was held on the options the city has to reduce utility bill write-offs.
Winders told aldermen that the staff had been reviewing options to allow the city to reduce utility bill write-offs.
One change reviewed is changing the amount of the deposit. The move could be across the board, specific to the property and/or specific to the customer.
After discussion, the staff was instructed to bring back possible changes that would separate deposits for owners and renters as well as ideas for commercial deposits.
Website
Development
Aldermen approved an agreement with CivicPlus for the development of the City of Vandalia’s website, www.vandaliamo.net. The website had been “under construction” for an extended period of time due to the discontinuation of the software program that was previously used.
CivicPlus has recently developed a CORE product which still maintains their commitment to the municipal community through templates, support, and editing, but the customer does more of the development and input, while learning the process through video self-training, phone support, and an online training library. By staff doing more of the work, the cost to develop the website fits into the budget better.
The cost of the project will be paid in three annual payments of $3,154.76 for project development and annual services. Annual maintenance and support fees of $1,500 would be due in year four and beyond, with a possible annual 5% increase in year five and beyond.
Locally, the City of Bowling Green, Mo. has a website powered by CivicPlus, although it is not on the CORE product.
Power Plant Update
Winders told the group that as of May 2014, the city is receiving no payments for generators. No repairs have been made to generators in the last few years.
The value of the generators is estimaged to be scrap value, less the cost of removal. The future use of the power plant will be considered in the Toth electrical system overview.
Ordinance Repealing and Replacing Section 155.360 (C) “Vacation” of the City Code
Alderman Larry Shaw moved to hear Bill No. 14-1142 for the first time before the motion died due to a lack of a second in regards to the section on vacation in the city code.
Winders told the group that approval of this item would change the code to allow employees to keep accrued vacation past December 31 of each year, up to the amount of their annual accrual rate. Currently, every employee must use or lose all vacation by the end of the calendar year.  There are no other code changes proposed.
There is no cost to the city for making a change. City Departments would experience less scheduling problems in December and employees would have more flexibility in terms of accrued vacation use.
After discussion, it was decided that additional discussions will take place internally and then it will be returned to the board.

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