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Vandalia receives $4,945 grant to assist officers

Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 9:46 am

City of Vandalia Mayor Ralph Kuda receives the grant award from MIRMA’’s Jeff Arp.

City of Vandalia Mayor Ralph Kuda receives the grant award from MIRMA’’s Jeff Arp.

Jeff Arp, from the city’s liability and property insurance carrier MIRMA, presented a grant award to the City of Vandalia during their monthly meeting held last Tuesday.
The grant award of $4,945 will go towards the $7,740.18 value for requested items by the Vandalia Police Department. This means the city will only need to pay $2,795.18 for the near $7,800 worth of equipment.
The equipment includes:
• A combination vehicle camera/body camera unit, valued at $5,550 (MIRMA is awarding $3,850 for this item, which is 69% of the cost of the item).
• One new TASER, valued at $1,573.18 (MIRMA is awarding $786.50 for this item, which is 50% of the cost of the item).
• A Less-Lethal Shotgun (A.K.A. a Beanbag Gun) valued at $617 (MIRMA is awarding $308.50 for this item, which is 50% of the cost of the item).
Saving money in the next decade
Curt Gilliam, of PiperJaffray, addressed the Vandalia Board of Aldermen to discuss certificates of Participation, Series 2006 (Aquatic Center Project).
His more than 12 minute presentation noted a possible approval by the board could save the City of Vandalia $6,600 a year for the next 10 years or around $66,000 by refinancing the project with local banks.
Former Interim City Administrator Debbie Hopke asked the board if she could ask questions. She was granted permission and asked questions regarding fees charged by PiperJaffray and attorneys for refinancing. She also asked if there were other companies who provided the same service and was told that there were.
There is currently $775,000 outstanding in principal balance with a current annual interest rate of 4.72.
The current annual payments average is around $99,000. Refinancing could reduce annual payments from $99,000 to $92,000

Notes, New Business, and Future Agenda Items
City Administrator Chase Waggoner first discussed  that he is processing the requested comparison study for renovation of the Casey’s building vs. renovating the current police station. Alderman John Weiser did asked if there were any other parties expressing interest in the Casey’s building. No official answer was given to his question.
City Administrator Waggoner said his time has been consumed with hiring activities with the goal of getting a full roster to help the departments.
He also noted that on December 1, Federal Wage hour rates will be changing and he is putting together a proposal for council approval.
City Administrator Waggoner also attended an ICMA conference in Kansas City, and was able to network, and encourages staff to go to conferences that apply to their positions.
Another item discussed was a  proposed ordinance for prohibiting grass clippings in the street.
He noted that last month, he ask for positives and negatives regarding this matter. He did not get a good sense of what the board wants.
Discussion from the council led to a consensus that it should be a matter of pride for citizens as an ordinance would be hard to enforce, and the city needs the police doing things other than watching for grass in the streets. Alderman Bontz suggested putting something in the paper to encourage residents on the issue.
Facility tours were also noted and a schedule of tours of the city facilities has been set up. The meetings will have to be posted to comply with Sunshine Law regulations.

Miscellaneous
Minutes from the September 13 regular meeting were approved.
The Accounts Payable for September 2016 was also approved after Alderman Doug Bontz asked a couple of questions on a line item.
Finance Officer Sharon Myers presented the Semi-Annual Financial Statement for March 1, 2016-August 31, 2016 as it was prepared in accordance with the State Statute. Aldermen unanimously approved the statement and authorized it for publication.
Myers also noted that there were no finidings in the audit performed by Dennis G. Koch, CPA. This means the audit was favorable and aldermen unanimously acknowledged the report and request it to be filed.
During the Citizens to be Heard part of the meeting, Patti Kraft talked to the group regarding programs for neutering cats. She shared some details of other programs and stated that she hoped the city will participate in a program to help with stray animals in town.
Alderman Bontz said ideas he would like to have on future agendas includes grant writing, property maintenance issues as well as annexing the Van-Far schools to the west and also businesses to the east of town.