By Woodrow Polston
The Vandalia Board of Aldermen met for regular session last week at the Lange building located at 200 E. Park Street. Mayor Ralph Kuda called the meeting to order. After roll call and approval of the October minutes, City Administrator Darren Berry called on Jeff Arp, who was attending to present a check and plaque to the city on behalf of MIRMA.
“I am a loss control consultant here on behalf of MIRMA,” said Arp. “MIRMA is a self-insurance pool owned entirely by its members. We take care of all of your claims, and we spend a lot of time with our members to educate them in the best practices for risk management. We have several programs that help our members reach their risk management goals. One of those programs is our risk grant program that was created many years ago to help members purchase equipment that you have identified a need for. In the past year, we received an application from the city for assistance to purchase an electric cutter for the purposes of cutting wire. We have approved $2,163.75 toward that purchase. I have brought with me tonight a check and a plaque for presentation,” he added.
Also on the agenda, was a request to approve permission for the YMCA to construct raised garden beds on city owned property. Berry explained the details of the request.
“The YMCA is applying for a grant for the sum of $3,500 to $5,000 to construct community raised garden beds,” said Berry. “They plan to put them on the south side of the property over by the sidewalk. This grant would cover all the cost involved with the construction, even including the plants and planting materials. The YMCA will also be employing or seeking volunteers to maintain the garden beds and to take care of everything associated with them. There would be no obligation for the city other than to simply mow around the raised beds. Because they would be sitting on city grounds, we would need board approval for them to proceed with this,” he added.
Alderman Hopke spoke on behalf of the YMCA to give further clarification about the grant.
“This would be a community garden project, so there would be no cost to the city and no cost to the YMCA. We can start as small or big as we want, but at this time, there is no certainty that we will receive the grant,” Hopke said.
A motion was made o approve the use of city property by the YMCA for the purpose of constructing raised garden beds, seconded and passed unanimously by the board.
A request to increase the city employee meal per diem when attending conferences and training sessions was discussed. The request would increase the per diem from $5 for breakfast to $10, $7 for lunch to $12, and $13 for dinner to $20. This would increase the total daily allowance from $25 to $42.
A motion was made and seconded to approve the first and second reading of the bill to increase the daily meal per diem. The motion passed unanimously.