Many Vandalia residents may notice an increased Audrain County Sheriff’s Office presence in the City of Vandalia limits during the next 90 days.
This is due to a new trial agreement between the county and the Vandalia Police Department to help the VPD while they are shorthanded in their number of officers.
VPD has typically six full-time officers but right now two positions are open.
City Administrator Darren Berry said currently many officers are working two to six hours each week of overtime to cover some of the shift time. Some part-time officers are also picking up the slack but can only give so many hours themselves due to other commitments.
The agreement assigns an Audrain County Sheriff’s Deputy to perform law enforcement services within the city limits for up to 40 hours per week.
“He’s here for coverage to help protect and serve the city,” Berry said. “A dedicated body for 40 hours per week.”
The deputy, at any time, while on duty for the City of Vandalia, could be dispatched to aid in an emergency outside the city limits.
The VPD would be notified and will determine what measures need to be enacted to provide coverage within the city.
While on duty for the city, the deputy will not enforce City Code and will continue to be an employee of the county under the direction and control of the sheriff.
Audrain County Sheriff Matt Oller made himself available for any questions and advised that the county would provide the vehicle, deputy, and all equipment. Sheriff Oller advised it would be business as usual for the deputy and that City Code violations would be passed on to the Vandalia Police Department.
Alderperson Debbie Hopke asked about an example of a dog-at-large while a deputy is on duty. Since the issue is not covered as a state statute violation, the deputy would not handle it directly and would pass the information along to the VPD.
Audrain County Commissioner Steve Hobbs added that this would be a short term thing, the deputy would operate as usual, and they would be flexible.
Sheriff Oller stated that if the deputy got called away, the city would not be charged for that time.
Likewise, any tickets issued would be county issued and not city issued. Revenues would go to the county for the work done by the deputy when on shift.
Presiding Commissioner Hobbs stated it would be an extreme emergency situation that the deputy would be called away.
Aldermen unanimously approved the measure.
Resolution for memorandum of understanding between VRC, YMCA, City of Vandalia, and Consolidated Electric
City Administrator Berry told the group that the city has already pledged $650,000 of the REDLG loan (or the Rual Morris Pledge) and has not allowed a Deed of Trust.
The resolution would allow the Deed of Trust and change the REDLG guarantee to $800,000.
Should the project be in default and the city not pay off the department, Consolidated Electric Cooperative could assume ownership of the land along with the building.
The CEC is requiring the Deed of Trust because the city guarantee is subject to annual appropriations based on the Hancock Amendment.
The Vandalia Recreation Corporation has already begun collecting funds for the repayment of the loan.
Before the discussion, Alderperson Hopke stepped out due to her involvement with the VRC.
The Memorandum of Understanding and the Deed of Trust were approved unanimously.
Citizens to be Heard/License Bureau
During the Citizens to be Heard portion of the meeting, resident Crystal Sparks discussed the License Bureau and the possibility of the City of Vandalia opening an office once again at City Hall.
Though she knows it is not a money maker or may not pay for the person needed to run the office, she did ask what other salary does the city have to justify.
Sparks said it would be a great service and she would like for the city to take some consideration into once again providing that service.
City Administrator Berry said he did speak to a representative from the Missouri Department of Revenue and they said there were no plans to put it up for bid in Vandalia at this time. It was also noted there were factors such as location and whether there is another office within 20 miles along with a report on possible transactions being low.
Alderman John Weiser said this might be something to put on the goal setting for the future.
Sparks also discussed the meeting agenda and inquired about the city possibly publishing a tentative agenda in the paper the Wednesday before the meeting or to at least put the agenda up on the city’s website.
Approval of new Housing Authority
Aldermen unanimously approved the appointment of Bob Dunn as the newest Vandalia Housing Authority Commissioner.
The appointment was made by Mayor Ralph Kuda. Dunn replaces Brenda Elliot in the position.
Allen Chandler, of the Vandalia Housing Authority, requested the appointment of the new commissioner.
City Administrator Berry asked the board to consider reimbursing Mike and Debbie Ray $1,750 for the demolition of 513 N. Main St. Though the demolition program ended in December 2017, the Rays had the necessary paperwork completed for the reimbursement in July 2017.
Due to unforeseen issues, the demolition was unable to be completed until January 2018.
Aldermen approved the reimbursement unanimously.
The city approved the January 9 meeting minutes.
The Accounts Payable report for January was approved.
Temporary City Clerk Pam Perkins informed the board that there was a renewal contract for the alcohol and drug testing program with SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Audrain for June 15, 2017 to June 14, 2020. The measure was approved as there were no fee increases. The amendment updates the city’s contract.
An ordinance adopting the Fiscal Year 2018-19 appropriations for the City of Vandalia and setting the level of revenues and expenditures for the Fiscal Year commencing on the first day of March 2018 was approved unanimously.