With help from the US Department of Agriculture, the Vandalia Police Department ordered a 2013 Ford Explorer for its squad. According to city minutes, the new Explorer cost $23,927, which included a $1,500 trade-in to Joe Machens Ford in Columbia, Mo., where the vehicle was purchased. The ability to offer a trade-in — a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria cruiser — was a new option this year in the bidding process.
The department needs additional equipment to complete the vehicle, and the yet-to-be installed equipment still needs bidding, purchase and installation. The equipment will bring the total cost of the purchase to $35,700.
The USDA gave $19,000 in federal funds as their portion of the grant.
Aldermen approved Mayor Ramon Barnes to sign an agreement that accepts changes to the Missouri Local Government Employees’ Retirement System.
Major changes to the system include a $5,500 increase in retirement benefits over last year for city employees, who are now required to contribute 4 percent of their income to the system.
Changes to the system do not affect the method in which an employee’s final average salary is determined, nor do the changes affect the age at which an employee may retire.
The ordinance goes into effect October 2012.
Institutional Work-Release Program
Mayor Barnes was also approved to extend the work-release program between the City of Vandalia and the Woman’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center (WERDCC) by signing an agreement.
The approval extends last year’s agreement. It is effective one year from September 12 with no changes.
Work on the second part of the trail project started after the Van-Far School District declined an easement necessary to complete the first section of the trail, which effectively stopped construction.
Aldermen began evaluating the topography and other aspects relating to constructing the second portion of the trail, which is going south of the fairgrounds yet construction will not start due to rules requiring the program to be contracted — meaning the work will cost much more than originally expected. The fair board is receptive to the idea.
In addition to increased costs due to contracting the work, the City of Vandalia is required pay using only cash in providing its local share of funding for the project. The city’s share could be as low as 20 percent of overall cost, which could cost up to $43,750.
Aldermen budgeted only $32,000 for the trail. But those funds were expected to “go much farther,” according to the council’s minutes.
The City of Vandalia continued developing its conversion of the water plant, which include:
• Receiving an approval from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to continue covering basins with covers
• EarthTec equipment installed at the city’s old carbon house. Preliminary testing of raw water will be conducted before feeding additional product.
• Price quotations being sent out for purchasing gas chlorine feed equipment, as well as carbon feed equipment.
Alderman approved the following liquor licenses:
Hickman’s IGA – package liquor and Sunday package liquor
Pizza Hut – 5 percent beer by-the-drink
B.C’s Bar – 5 percent beer and wine
Abel’s Quick Stop #13 – package liquor and Sunday package liquor
Pick-A-Dilly/Niemann Foods – package liquor and Sunday package sales
Goodfellas Bar and Grill – liquor by-the-drink
Spare Time Bowl – liquor by-the-drink and Sunday liquor by-the-drink
Vandalia Fair Board – picnic license