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Shaw sworn in during council meeting

Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2024 at 10:17 pm

Because he could not make the April Vandalia City Council meeting, Larry Shaw was sworn in during the Tuesday, May 14 Vandalia City Council meeting.

After the swearing in, which was done by City Clerk Brandie Gay, the Council approved the agenda for the meeting.

During the public hearing portion of the meeting, Steve Breneman requested that his building at 414 W Walsh be re-zoned from commercial to residential.

Gay explained to the council that Breneman requested the change because he is no longer running a business—Breneman Service—out of the building.

With no further discussion, Mayor Ralph Kuda closed the Public Hearing.

During a presentation of the MoPEP Power Infrastructure Modernization Grant, City Administrator Darren Berry explained to the council that several years ago, the City of Vandalia applied for a Power Infrastructure Modernization Grant that was offered through MoPEP for $24,677.

To meet the criteria to receive this grant, the city had to have a project that would upgrade (modernize) its electric system, he noted. The recent project in the conversion of Feeder 12 from 2400 delta to 4160 volts fits the criteria to be awarded this grant.

Berry introduced Brandon Renaud from MPUA to give an update and present the grant to Kuda.

Renaud explained to the council that the MoPEP Power Infrastructure Modernization Program has been established to promote investment in a long-term capital asset of local electric systems to improve the reliability and efficiency of local electric infrastructure.

By supporting ongoing reinvestment in a long-term local capital asset, MOPEP can reduce pool costs by strengthening MoPEP credit rating. The $24,677 is in addition to the previously awarded amount of $18,434 for a total of $43,111, which has improved the electric distribution system for the city. Renaud presented Mayor Kuda with a check.

The council heard an update on Navarro Farms. Berry explained to the council that he contacted Navarro Farms to discuss with them the odor problem that is coming from their facility.

He had been directed by the city council to address this issue and he explained that, Gay and other members of the council had received complaints from citizens in town concerned about the odor that is coming from the facility.

Kari Stieler from Navarro Farms explained that they are implementing a three-step process to combat odor control. Kari said that the odor comes from the facility’s dry room. This happens every 14 days.

The first step is putting carbon filters in place to recycle the air back into the dry room. The next step is restructuring the dry room. With this the air that may leak out of the carbon filters from the dry room, the air redirects back into the facility and does not leak out to the outside air. And the last step, if the above two are not effective, Navarro will install a system that would drop air from exiting the building. The third step is costly, so they are trying the first two steps first.

As for street improvements, Berry said that the annual evaluation of streets and plan preparation has been completed.

He invited Street Superintendent LeRoy Schlueter to talk about the plan.

Schlueter said the plan proposes $16,000 in chip seal.

“We expect to address up to approximately 25 blocks with the chip seal.  We will use a load of oil, which will chip seal about 25 blocks. Again, this year, the number of blocks completed will also depend on how many curb-to-curb passes each street will need.

“Currently, emulsified oil is $2.69 per gallon. Early indications are that stone prices will be $15 a ton plus hauling. The list of streets would be addressed based on highest rating until the funds are gone except for chip seal, which is used by the department to address miscellaneous needs as identified during the process. We also plan on doing up to 24 blocks of 2-inch asphalt overlay at a cost not to exceed $180,000.

“The price includes the lifting up of manholes and water values as needed. The streets that were chosen for asphalt were chosen by multiple factors such as conditions, infrastructure, and drainage.”

The streets that are getting asphalted are—North Oak Street, price: $62,000. Start at U.S. Hwy 54. Endat Missouri Avenue; North Taylor Street, price: $20,500. Start sy U.S. Hwy 54. Endsy East Washington’ • South Elm Street,price: $36,000. Starta t East Union. End at Hwy V; Booker Street, price: $30,000. Start at South Cleveland. End at West Limit; West Limit Street, price: $26,000. Start at South Cleveland. End at South Maple.

The council voted to approve this plan.

During this portion of the meeting, Gay noted that P&Z approved the recommendation the rezoning of the Breneman property mentioned earlier.

Gay explained that the P&Z Commission held a meeting on Wednesday, May 8 and recommended the property be rezoned as residential.

The council voted to approve the change.

They also approved switching the city’s billing software provider from Milsoft (Daffron) to Edmunds GovTech.

Berry informed the council on March 12, 2014, the City of Vandalia signed a contract with Daffron & Associated to provide the billing software for the city.

The contract was for 126 months. The contract is due to expire in September of this year. The agreement would automatically be renewed for successive periods of 12 months upon completion of the initial term, but either party could terminate the agreement with a minimum of 60 days’ written notice.

The process for switching billing software is not a simple, or fast task, Berry said.

Switching can take anywhere from 9 to 18 months before being able to go live with the new product.

It will take many months to get all the city’s data converted to the Edmunds software. After the conversion has been completed and before it goes live, it would need to be tested for a few months.

“We will need to run both software programs alongside each other so staff can compare the data to make sure everything is correct,” he said.

After the staff discussed this process with Edmunds, and looking at when the contract would renew, the staff was in agreement that the city should not wait but go ahead and get the contract with Edmunds signed and back to them as soon as possible.

“I discussed this with Mayor Kuda, and I recommended to him,” Berry said, “because the council had already approved money in this year’s budget for software upgrades and with the recent problems with all the utility billing, we should go ahead and sign the contract with Edmunds to begin the process of switching.

Currently, there is $821,000 in the ARP Council Approved Project fund.  After some discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

City Drinking Water

Berry explained that last year, the Water Department applied for, and was awarded, a grant in the amount of $250,000 through the Missouri State Revolving Fund Program.

These funds will help pay for the Lead Service Line Inventory. This is a requirement by the EPA, for all municipalities to complete.

After some discussion, the resolution authorizing the City of Vandalia to file an application with Missouri Department of Natural Resources, State Revolving Fund Program for loans under the Missouri Safe Drinking Water Law. The motion passed unanimously.