The City of Vandalia’s Board of Aldermen adopted the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 appropriations and set the level of revenues and expenditures for the next year which started on March 1.
This took place during their monthly meeting held last Tuesday.
Highlights of the proposed base budget included no growth being reflected in the bottom line in the contractual/commodities sections of the base operating budgets with some exceptions. Some include $6,000 in the General Fund due to increases in MIRMA and brush grinding cost; health and casualty insurance and more; increase of minimum wage putting the budget of the pool up $1,000; and wage increases for employees of $0.25 per hour for full-time.
Carolyn Wisecarver, of the Pike County Development Authority, said the PCDA is doing paperwork for the USDA grant for the police vehicle.
Wisecarver told the group that the City of Vandalia intends to file an application to obtain funds to purchase a patrol vehicle for the Police Department. This request is for a Ford F150 4-door pickup. The truck was requested for winter weather and for animal control.
In December 2016, the board approved a recommendation to accept a USDA grant for a patrol vehicle, if awarded. A copy of the Council Item Summary from that meeting was provided.
The total price of the purchase is $41,269. The city’s match is $18,669, so requested funds will be $22,600.
The public hearing is another necessary step in obtaining the funding.
Notice of the public hearing was published in the Vandalia Leader on April 26, 2017 and was posted at Vandalia City Hall.
Mayor Ralph Kuda declared the public hearing opened.
There was a question regarding the need for a pickup. Discussion followed regarding the need to determine if the board wants to choose another vehicle for the grant. Mayor Kuda declared the public hearing closed.
A resolution was then approved with just Alderman Debbie Hopke dissenting on her vote to allow the city to obtain financial assistance from USDA Rural Develop-ment.
Interim City Administrator Winders told the group that there are things that need to be decided in order to proceed with the hiring process for the City Administrator. Those decisions included handling the process ourselves, hiring an executive recruitment firm (cost 10-15% of salary), or both-advertise ASAP and look for a firm that can handle the process.
Determinations must be made including requirements (residency, education, experience, etc.), salary range, desired attributes, and role definition.
Action items for this item are: create advertisement and execute; create position profile; and address any inconsistencies in role definition, both formally and informally.
After discussion, a motion was made by Alderman Ramon Barnes to advertise regionally and direct staff to look for a head hunter, and raise the salary range from $50,000-$60,000 to $50,000- $75,000, depending on qualifications. Alderman John Weiser seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Marketing agreement with Service Line Warranties of America
According to meeting minutes, Interim City Administrator Winders told the group that in November, 2016 the council authorized entering into a marketing agreement with a service line warranty company. However, it is clear that there were or is understandings about what was in the agreement.
The company sells warranties (insurance) for water and sewer service liens and for in-home plumbing.
Basically, the city is agreeing to allow the private company to use the city’s logo and a signature of a city official when marketing to property owners within the community.
In exchange, the city would receive .50 cents from every paid monthly premium. The agreement is for three years.
This agreement was executed in November, 2017. However, in conversations with the company, they have indicated that they want to make sure everyone is fully comfortable prior to proceeding. No marketing has been done at this point.
Aldermen unanimously agreed to seek a release from the marketing agreement with Service Line Warranties of America.
Citizens to be Heard
Audrain County Presiding Commissioner Steve Hobbs addressed the group, welcoming the new council members. He also reminded the group that the Commission is here to help if needed. He updated the group on a jail expansion that is about to break ground. Financing for the expansion was explained.
Interim City Administration Winders noted that reports from the recent events including a body being found in Vandalia were good reports of cooperation with the departments, and all were handled professionally. Congratulations was given to the Police Department and the Audrain County Sheriff’s Office.
The minutes for the April 11, 2017 were approved as well as the Accounts Payable Report.
A training date for board training was set for after the June 13 meeting. A work session was set for 5 p.m. on Monday, May 22.
The pool opens on May 28. Toth and Associates will be doing a study for the city as billing software has changed.