By Ben Marshall
VANDALIA—The Board of Aldermen for the City of Vandalia met on Tuesday, Oct. 8 in regular session.
City Administrator Darren Berry informed the board of an agenda item to authorize PSBA to prepare and submit a new five-year master plan for waterline construction in the city.
The last plan was engineered in 2014 and all the projects on that plan are in the process of being completed.
He explained that any new waterline projects must have engineering plans and specifications submitted for MDNR to review and approve before construction.
Before any new waterline replacement project begins, it will be brought before the board for approval.
Alderman John Weiser made a motion for approval to renew and continue participation in the owner supervised plan. Alderman Debbie Hopke seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Berry also informed the board that the city, along with the help of Pike County Economic Development, is looking to apply for a grant for new playground equipment at Daniels and Partee Park.
“The grant deadline is in November, so at this time we have decided to present this at the November board meeting,” he said.
Superintendent Aaron Rentfro asked the board to authorize the purchase of the 2000 International Dump Truck from the Audrain County Road District. Rentfro explained that with this purchase it would replace the 1990 International dump truck that is currently being used in the utilities department.
He added that the current dump truck has begun to have issues that came up after budget time and could become quite costly.
Berry said that because this is an un-budgeted item, the aldermen are proposing to use the $3,170 that was budgeted in the Capital Improvements Fund for the dump truck replacement that originally came from the general fund, and also added $8,830 from the Power Plant Building Clean Up in the Capital Improvement’s Fund.
This money was budgeted from the electric fund several years ago for building repairs and engine repairs for the power plant. It has not been used for those projects and likely never will be, he said.
With the purchase of this dump truck, it will be used by all departments. Alderman Ramon Barnes made a motion to purchase the 2000 International dump truck from the Audrain County Road District. Alderman Janet Turner seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Deputy City Administrator Ami Schuckenbrock provided an update of the 2019 Vandalia Aquatic Center. This year is the 12th completed operational season for the center.
She gave daily attendance numbers and information on parties and swim lessons. Schuckenbrock said the concessions prices were raised this year because of the increase in the prices for the items they bought.
Berry presented to the board a request for a letter of support for the MU Health Center.
The letter is needed, he said, is to encourage the University of Missouri to proceed with the sale of SSM Audrain and St. Mary’s Hospital Jefferson City to MU Health Care.
He explained that community hospitals and clinics that serve small towns and rural populations are vital centers for the delivery of health care.
Alderman Teresa Wenzel moved to approve a letter of support be written to encourage University of Missouri to proceed with the sale of SSM Audrain and St. Mary’s Hospital. The motion carried unanimously.
In other informational items, Berry informed the council that City Attorney Amy Rost will not be able to attend the November meeting because she will be at a conference out of town.
Hopke asked about an update with the power plant clean up. Berry told the board that he had recently spoken to the contractor and that he believes they are finishing up a project in Ohio, and when they are completed, they will hopefully come back to the area to finish the projects they have here.
Hopke also noted that the council would need to do an employee evaluation of Berry. She wanted to know how to get the process started.
Rost said that she would look into the matter. Berry stated that he would make copies of his contract and put one in every alderman’s mailbox.