Vandalia Leader

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Vandalia raises its pay for officers

Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 8:10 am

Utilities Superintendent Aaron Rentfro addresses the board.

The City of Vandalia’s Board of Aldermen have approved a new pay scale for its police officers during their meeting held last Tuesday.
According to meeting minutes, officers will now receive an increase in their starting pay by $2.25/hour, moving their rate from $11.75/hour to $14/hour.
All non-salary officers get the pay increased by $2.25/hour.
City Administrator Darren Berry noted in his research to get out ads for more police officers, he discovered the city’s current pay scale was not close to other neighboring cities.
Currently, the city has four full-time officers and three part-time officers.
It would take six full-time officers to provide the coverage needed and a need for one to two part-time officers to help in covering vacations, sick leave, etc.
In cutting down the number of corporals and sergeants from two to one each, the department can stay better within the budget.
Aldermen approved the pay scale adjustment unanimously.
Public Hearing
Mayor Ralph Kuda declared the public hearing open. Patti Kraft asked

with all the businesses closing in town, would that affect the tax rate. City Administrator Berry stated that it will probably affect next year’s rate but not this one. Mayor Kuda declared the public hearing closed.
As required by State Statute, the notice of the Public Hearing was published in The Vandalia Leader on August 1 and August 8.
Temporary City Clerk Ami Kuntz told the group that the information received from the State of Missouri with calculated allowable tax rates for the city levy were provided. The recommended levy is $0.9298 per $100 assessed value, of which $0.7598 is for the General Fund and $0.1700 is for the Park Fund.
There is no increase from last year. Bill No. 18-1188 was read and approved, becoming an ordinance to set the tax levy for 2018.
Phase I Geological Evaluation of the Dam Apron
City Administrator Berry informed the board that this would authorize a professional service agreement between Poepping, Stone, Bach & Associates and the City of Vandalia that would allow PSBA to conduct a geological evaluation on the apron at the city dam. The cost of this evaluation is $12,500. It is requested by DNR that the city complete an assessment plan on the apron.
There was recent damage that has been temporarily fixed. The city’s permit had been restated and not to expire until August 1, 2019. DNR wants this plan completed before that date. What will happen is they will come in do test drilling on throughout the apron to test the stability and finding if there is any washing out. There are areas where it is cracked and some areas washed out. At the end of apron, it has been noticed that there is erosion and pieces missing. The main concern is water could get under these cracks, causing a hydraulic uplift pressure that would cause more big pieces to break or could wash out underneath and cause the apron to collapse.
City Administrator Berry also stated that with this survey, the city could know where the breaks are, if any, and could budget accordingly to fix the areas and future repairs. The issue was passed unanimously.
2018 Street Improvement Plan
Street Superintendent Dave Hamby informed the board that earlier in the year it was proposed that at least 70 blocks costing $65,205 would be addressed. With it now being completed, the street department finished 71 blocks with cost being $36,052.94. Hamby had said they had leftover rock from last year which cut the cost down from the proposed amount. He stated a few streets that were proposed did not get completed due to conditions of the roadway or upcoming repairs to water lines under streets. Hamby also said they did have some issues with rock being dirty and clogging the spreader box and with finding clean rock in general, which will leave streaks in the roadway. Alderman Wenzel asked about what the company had to say about the rock being dirty and almost unusable. Hamby stated he would have to find out and let the board know. No motion needed. Update only.
Safety Manual
The board approved the adoption of the American Public Power Association Safety Manual. Utilities Superintendent Aaron Rentfro informed the board that this manual is a requirement of the City’s Liability Insurance Company (MIRMA) to formally adopt the current APPA safety manual in order to receive points on the Annual Loss Control Evaluation. The safety manual is a standardized manual that would be used to train employees. Mayor Kuda asked Rentfro his thoughts on the manual; if it was a good one to have and he answered yes.
YMCA Commitment
Before discussion, Alderman Debbie Hopke stepped out due to her involvement in the Vandalia Recreation Corporation.
City Administrator Berry told the board that the city has previously committed to this project back in 2015 for the old library demolition, tree removal, concrete sidewalks, and paving of the parking lots. He advised them that the city no longer has employees to do the concrete work but could have another company or Grove Construction do the work. He stated that VRC has seen that it as a cost saving for the city to not concrete the parking lot but to chip seal it instead. He also told the group that he was not sure where the amount of $26,000 came from but that amount was the original commitment amount. He also stated that this is all estimated costs totaling $45,000, with $5,000 of that amount is for the chip sealing of the parking lot. The estimated cost could come down if we needed to by deleting sections of sidewalks. This $45,000 is a not-to-exceed amount. Mayor Kuda stated that he thought the amount of $26,000 was made up by Chase Waggoner for sidewalks to the building and all new down main street in front of building. Alderman John Weiser asked if the chip sealing would need to be done for several years to come to get a good base. Hamby answered yes he believe it would. Audrain County Eastern District Commissioner Alan Winders stated that the chip sealing is not ideal but to save city resources and to keep with community standards. Winders also stated that if the building were to expand it would take over the area where the parking lot is located. Alderman Weiser made a motion to update and adjust the commitment to the YMCA and it was unanimously passed.
• Resolution #18-05-Authorizing the City Administrator to execute a Deed of Trust and other documents with Consolidated Electric Co. Alderman Hopke removed herself from the discussion due to her involvement with VRC.
City Administrator Berry advised the board that the city entered a land-only lease with the Vandalia Recreation Corporation so that the future YMCA can be operated on the former library property. The board previously agreed that the city would grant a Deed of Trust to Consolidated Electric Cooperative on the property. It is part of a process that would allow the VRC/YMCA to construct the building before it actually received the grant from the Rual Morris Foundation that would finish paying for the construction. This resolution would authorize the City Administrator to sign the Deed of Trust, along with a “Subordination, Non-Disturbance, and Attornment Agreement” The SNDAA is an agreement where the VRC reaffirms that its right to possess the property would come second to the right of Consolidated to repossess the property if the loan is not paid, and the city agrees not to disturb the right of Consolidated to repossess the property.
City Administrator Berry stated that this situation is extremely unlikely, as the Deed of Trust should be paid quickly with the funds from the Rual Morris Foundation Agreement.
Aldermen authorized the City Administrator to execute the Deed of Trust and other documents with Consolidated Electric Co.
During the Citizens to be Heard portion of the meting, Robert Hays asked if there could an ordinance about being able to ride ATV or golf carts on city street with only crossing major streets or highways since lawn mowers and scooters are currently doing so.
Minutes for the July 10 meeting were approved.
The Accounts Payable report for July 2018 was approved.
The 2017-2018 Annual Financial Audit Report was a favorable one, according to Financial Officer Sharon Myers for the year ending February 28, 2018.
Myers also stated that this report needs acknowledgement and to be filed. The report was acknowledged by aldermen with a unanimous vote.
City Administrator Berry told the group that the CPI for 5,000 gallons and that this happens every year around this time.
Water rate per 5,000 gallons is going up $0.43 and Sewer rates to $0.16. It has been adjusted every year since 2009.
He also talked with the group about losing a member of the family recently, City Clerk Karen Shaw, who lost her battle with leukemia. He stated that she had been out for six months then came back for four weeks to then start her battle again. It has been a rough adjustment at City Hall. Next month at the meeting, the city will try and do a resolution in memory of Karen.
Alderman Weiser asked about the City of Vandalia Facilities Improvement Authority about the by-laws, if annual meetings were held.
City Administrator Berry stated he would look into it.
Mayor Kuda also stated that no meetings were held and asked City Administrator Berry to help with finding more out about this and will revisit at later date.