Former Interim City Administrator and Assistant to the City Administrator Debbie Hopke was recognized for her nine years of service to the City of Vandalia at the beginning of their monthly meeting on Tuesday.
Mayor Ralph Kuda presented the plaque of appreciation to Hopke, who served the city from November 2007 to September 2016.
Hopke said she accepted the gift on behalf of her co-workers and former administrative staff who worked with her.
Library to move into CSI building
City Administrator Chase Waggoner told those in attendance that the Vandalia Branch Library has been notified by the city that it needs to vacate the building at 309 S. Main St. by December 15, 2016. The Mexico-Audrain Library District is looking for space for the Vandalia location to operate while a new facility can be constructed.
Library officials are interested in leasing the former CSI building from the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017.
Aldermen unanimously authorized the City Administrator Waggoner to enter into a lease agreement with the library district.
Street Improvement Plan
Street Superintendent Dave Hamby presented a 2016 Street Improvement Plan with a proposed $50,696 in chip seal, $10,000 in unprogrammed maintenance, and no asphalt overlay.
The department ended up spending $40,211.08 with no asphalt overlay and a total of 62.5 blocks ended up being addressed.
Building Demolition Program Policy
City Administrator Waggoner, according to meeting minutes, said there was an original plan set to engage a committee to implement the building demolition program, however he has made some tweaks to the proposal.
After discussion of the program’s policy, it was agreed upon to remove a paragraph relating to reasonable costs associated with basic landscaping on property where demolition has been completed would be factored into the overall cost of demolition. Another paragraph relating to outstanding property tax debt was to be removed.
Aldermen unanimously approved the policy with the discussed changes.
City Administrator Notes
City Administrator Waggoner said he is moving ahead with the Police Chief hiring, scheduling interviews, etc. He also noted that he hopes to have a recommendation in 2-3 weeks.
City Administrator Waggoner, Mayor Kuda, Interim Police Chief Justin Landis, Street Superintendent Hamby, and other staff had recently toured the old Casey’s building on East Highway 54. Potential use for the building would be to replace the Police Station. This item will be brought back to the council for approval after funding options are reviewed.
Alderman John Weiser asked if staff would bring a cost comparison between remodeling the current Police Station and remodeling the Casey’s building. It was added that labor for the remodel of the Casey’s building could be from the correctional facility in Bowling Green.
City Administrator Waggoner also said he attended two conferences last week with MML and MPUA.
As for new business and future agenda items, City Administrator Waggoner noted three items that could be discussed in future meetings. They were a proposed ordinance prohibiting grass clippings in street, property assessed clean energy, and lateral line warranties.
Aldermen unanimously approved the Alcohol and Drug Screening first contract with SSM as previous contracts were with Audrain Medical Center. Some slight changes were made in fees but they were the first changes since 1997.
Minutes from the August 9, 2016 meeting and the August 24, 2016 Public Hearing/Special Meeting were approved.
Dickie Harris, who lives on West Missouri St., talked during the Citizens to be Heard portion of the meeting. He complained about the fireworks shot off in his neighborhood during the July 4 celebration. He said smoke from the fireworks were so bad that they had to stay inside rather than enjoy the fireworks.
Brian Haeffner, of MoDOT, talked to the board about scheduled improvements that include the overlay of Highway 54 from Highway 19 to Rt. U, east of Curryville. These are to be done in 2018. Alderman Bob Dunn asked about plans for Main St. featuring Highway W and Highway F but Haffner said there were no immediate plans for those areas.
No action was taken in regards to a consideration of request to forgive the mowing bill for 313 W. St. John by Jackie Thurman, of the Century 21-Broughton Team. The property needed to be mowed by July 26, the Vandalia Police Department documented it not being mowed one day later, and a notice from the City Clerk was issued. The property was then mowed on August 4.