During the July Board of Aldermen meeting for the City of Vandalia, it appeared the council might be set to increase utility deposit rates during its upcoming August meeting.
But after discussion last week, aldermen did not approve a rate increase resolution.
The council will discuss more ideas at a later date and have discussion on credit checks and an ability to reduce deposit amounts.
The group also discussed the possibility of having commercial customers pay a deposit in the amount of two times the average active monthly bill of utilities at that address.
Alderman John Weiser made a motion that staff no longer allow residents living at the same address to switch utilities to another’s name when utilities are subject to or shut off.
According to the drafted city minutes, Street Superintendent Dave Hamby told the group that this item would designate sidewalks to be replaced this fall in downtown. The recommendation is to replace sidewalks on north side of Park Street for approximately ½ block on each side of Main Street.
Funds in the amount of $3,444 were budgeted for downtown sidewalks in the capital improvements budget, however no specific projects were indicated.
It is anticipated that these two sidewalks will require most of the funds and the rest of the funds will be used on smaller repairs in the downtown area.
The city has attempted to repair and/or replace some section of downtown sidewalk every couple of years. This is a continuation of that effort.
Efforts to address downtown sidewalks should continue as budget allows.
Aldermen unanimously designated Park Street Sidewalks.
City Administrator Alan Winders told the group that a continuation of discussion on sidewalk policy would have no decision made at the meeting.
In October, 2013, specifications were established regarding the construction of sidewalks. The City of Vandalia had the sidewalk incentive program in place for many years for commercial and residential sidewalks. The program reimburses property owners a portion of the cost of the sidewalk replacement which they do.
Some preliminary ideas for routes and points were presented and discussed. Staff will bring back a proposal with ideas for possible approval.
Million Gallon Tank
Chief Water Plant Operator Darren Berry told the group that shortly after bids were sent out, staff started getting calls with concerns related to the time of year and the actual roof condition for the MGT.
According to drafted minutes, the project has been delayed until the Spring of 2014. This is based on the need for bidders to have better information regarding the condition of the tank so that they can better bid.
The intended process to move forward is as follows;
• The project will be bid to allow for a spring start-up. By doing this, it will assure that weather conditions should not prevent problems with the paint application.
• This fall, there will be a limited shutdown of two or three days. One contractor will be retained to install and remove scaffolding in the tank, to allow all contractors the opportunity to inspect the interior roof structure at close range. Cost is approximately $6,000.
• All invited bidders will be required to send a representative to inspect the tank during this time.
• After the inspection, the contractors will be asked to submit their detailed bid for repairs based on what they have found. Bids will be due in two to three weeks after the inspection.
• Contractors may also state in their bids any option for repair or replacement of the roof structure. The city may award a contract based on the most favorable bid and/or best option for the City.
• The biding document will indicate the earliest date for the shutdown of the tank in the spring of 2015. This will allow work to be completed and the tank returned into service before peak summer usage begins.
Winders told the group that $50,000 was budgeted to purchase a large tractor; however, it was determined during the process of putting specifications together and matching up needs, that two smaller tractors would serve Vandalia’s needs better.
The first tractor costs approximately $20,000, leaving a balance of $30,000. This tractor was about 45 horsepower.
The city needs to purchase an even smaller tractor and several attachments-a 30 hp tractor, a 4 ft. rotary cutter, an 8 ft. rotary cutter for the larger tractor, and a 4-5 ft. blade.
Quotes indicate that these can be purchased for roughly $20,000, leaving a balance of $8,000-$10,000 which is not proposed to be expended in this year’s budget but will be re-appropriated in next year’s budget.
Aldermen unanimously authorized the use of the balance of budgeted funds.
Assistant to the City Administrator Debbie Hopke told the group that each year, MIRMA, the City’s liability and property insurance carrier has a risk management award program that is open to all of its member cities. This is a competitive process where members submit requests for monetary reimbursement for items which are designed to reduce a particular loss exposure. Items are categorized by priority. Most items have a replacement frequency guideline and some have maximum funding limits. Awards up to 75% of the funding requested are available for award applications, with a maximum award of $7,500 per item.
• Taser with Taser Cam, $1,600 (Approximate Total Costs); $1,200 (Award Request); $400 (City Match)
• Police Car Dash Mounted Audio/Video Camera, $5,020 (Approximate Total Costs); $3,765 (Award Request); $1,255 (City Match)
• Flammable Storage Cabinets (2), $2,000 (Approximate Total Costs); $1,500 (Award Request); $500 (City Match)
• AED – Aquatic Center, $1,895 (Approximate Total Costs); $1,421.25 (Award Request); $473.73 (City Match)
• Video Surveillance System – Police Department, $1,500 (Approximate Total Costs); $1,125 (Award Request); $375 (City Match)
• Totals, $12,015 (Approximate Total Costs); $9,011.25 (Award Request); $3,003.75 (City Match)
Award winners will be announced in the MIRMA newsletter and at the Fall MIRMA board meeting. Awards will be presented to the winners at their city council meetings prior to January 1, 2015.
Aldermen approved the submission of the five proposed Risk Management Award applications to MIRMA.
The Accounts Payable report for July was reviewed and approved.
Winders told the group that approval of a resolution will show support of Governor Jay Nixon’s Veto of Bills SB 584, SB 693, SB 662, SB 612, SB 829, SB 727, and HB 1455.
Aldermen voted to pass and adopt the resolution.
It voices the city’s support for the vetoes prior to any veto override votes of the legislature. Many cities and counties have taken similar actions.
These bills are actions by the State Legislature which changes the taxes put in place by local voters to fund things such as swimming pools, streets and other capital projects.