City levy calculated at $0.9079 per $100 value

The City of Vandalia’s Board of Aldermen officially set the 2013 tax levy during their meeting held on Tuesday, August 13.
The State of Missouri calculated the allowable tax rate for the city levy at $0.9079 per $100 assessed value, of which $.7298 is for the General Fund and $.1681 is for the Park Fund. This rate represents an increase from last year of $.0325.
According to the drafted city minutes, the tax rate will continue to vary, along with the assessed valuations based on state formulas. The highest tax rate was in 2010 at $0.9182.
As required by State Statue, notice of the Public Hearing was published in The Vandalia Leader on August 7 and was also posted at the Vandalia Library, Vandalia Housing, and City Hall.
There were no citizens present and no comments made regarding the tax rate.
After looking at rates from 1986-proposed for 2013, aldermen set the new tax levy.
Bridge Project
Utilities Superintendent Aaron Rentfro explained that a supportive vote by aldermen would authorize execution of a temporary construction easement on city-owned property at the reservoir as the bridge is being replaced.
Previously it was agreed to provide water pipe and casing for under a new bridge. The temporary construction easement covers the area around the new bridge replacement. Aldermen approved the measure.
Electric Utility Mapping
City Administrator Alan Winders told officials at the meeting that approval by aldermen would authorize the digital mapping necessary for the electric utility.
The electric utility needs to be mapped electronically in order to proceed with system improvements. This mapping is necessary to determine load distribution and other system characteristics which will indicate which areas and liens should be improved to produce the greatest benefit for the system.
The cost of the mapping can be paid for from the conversion lien in the capital improvements fund. Currently, proposals are being gathered for this work, however, it will cost several tens of thousands of dollars.
Aldermen approved the measure.
Inspection of Million Gallon Tank
Chief Water Plant Operator Darren Berry noted that last month the MGT was inspected by Liquid Engineering.
The tank is going to require extensive repair to the roof structure. Other aspects of the inspection indicated that the tank was in good repair.
The roof has considerable rust and deterioration. This deterioration is primarily on the support beams and roof perimeter band. The report lists the condition of these items as “critical.” These are structural items and must be addressed as soon as possible.
It was suggested for the city to proceed as quickly as possible with the repairs. The engineer will need to prepare plans and specs or a proposal document depending on the method of repair which is determined to be the best.
The engineer is looking into potential costs and solutions. However, it is known that this will be expensive; perhaps a couple of hundred thousand dollars for the roof repair.
There is a budgeted $100,000 for painting the inside of the MGT. This painting would be done while the tank is down. The cost of the roof should likely be paid for from the water capital surcharge. The roof could potentially be financed with the water plant conversion project since the city reduced the amount it was borrowing for that project.
Along with the MGT, Berry told the group that Change Order No. 3 was submitted by Hauser Construction, Inc. This order would increase the time for completion by 44 days and will change the contract price based on the addition of two work items. The increase in cost will be $10,935.
A copy of Change Order No. 3 was provided. The engineer and staff recommend approval.
The new contract completion date will be October 29, 2013. This additional time is requested based on weather conditions and delivery time for some pumps.
Two additional work items have also been added under this change order. One is for cleaning the 6” transfer water line between the water plant and the million gallon tank (MGT) at a cost of $4,660.
The next additional work item is to install the new raw water meter at a cost of $6,275.
The new total contract price will be $335,589.48.
The measure was approved with alderman Larry Shaw abstaining.
Review Draft of Police Agreement with the
City of Laddonia
A review of the draft agreement between the City of Laddonia and the City of Vandalia for the provision of police services was discussed. The next step will be authorizing execution of the agreement, which is possible in September.
The proposed agreement is being reviewed by Laddonia with preliminary indications of general acceptance. It has been and continues to be reviewed by the Police Chief, City Attorney, and City Administrator.
There are minor issues; however, the agreement appears to be very close to final form. There are no substantive deviations from our previous discussions with the city council.
It is believed the agreement will provide a valuable service for Laddonia, for which they pay. Additionally, it will strengthen service in Vandalia. The agreement is basically providing police service for Laddonia for which they pay $100,000. The expected service includes 40 hours per week including response to calls for service.
The City of Vandalia will need to keep two officers on duty at all times and three when patrol is scheduled in Laddonia. A copy of the draft agreement was provided to the aldermen.
Sidewalk Regulations
Aldermen heard discussion regarding what regulations the city should have regarding sidewalks.
Construction specifications, replacement requirements, maintenance requirements, etc. are items which will need to be addressed in terms of whether or not the city needs to have a regulation.
Recent activities have highlighted the fact that the city has a very limited sidewalk regulation in City Code. A copy of the section of code dealing with sidewalks was provided.
After discussion, it was decided that staff will bring back recommendations on regulations and will find out what other cities are allowing as well as a proposed ordinance for  basic specifications, which are already outlined in the Sidewalk Reimbursement Policy.

Housing Appointment
Mayor Ramon Barnes appointed Ruth Caldwell to fill one of two spots open on that board, created by the resignations of Cami Blackman and Rita Jennings. The appointment was approved.

Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 11:04 pm