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Vandalia receives MIRMA funds for equipment

Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm

The City of Vandalia received about $4,500 in awards from the Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (MIRMA), the city’s liability and property insurance provider, during its October 9 regular meeting.
In September, the Vandalia Board of Alderman applied through MIRMA for funds to help cover the expenses of a defibrillator for the power plant, a dash camera, and a taser and taser camera, all of which were estimated at a total cost of $8,984.65.
MIRMA’s Jeff Arp presented a plaque to the board and reported that $1,209.45 for the defibrillator, $2,475 for the dash camera, and $833.25 for the taser and taser camera would be awarded to the city. The MIRMA program offers up to 75 percent funding and the City of Vandalia the approximate $4,500 of the bill.
The board had anticipated paying about $2,300 for the equipment.
“The program is set up to help fund up to 75 percent of the cost. Again, the key words are up to, this depends on the submissions we get.” Arp said. “Over the last three or four years, it seems like our membership, one, we’ve  grown some, and the second thing is we have quite a few members now participating. We had to lower the percentage to accommodate all the submissions we had.”
Last year, the City of Vandalia received $5,582.91 for two tasers and taser cameras, and protective matting for the diving board at the public swimming pool.
The board unanimously approved the 2011-12 financial audit with no found discrepancies other than a non-compliance with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement  34 (GASB 34), which financially accounts for city infrastructure.
“If we determined we wanted to be compliant, we would need to hire an accounting firm, an engineering firm, and an appraisal firm to determine the value of assets such as streets, sidewalks and those sort of things so they would be added to the balance sheet and appreciated.” City Administrator Alan Winders said. “Up until this point we haven’t elected to do that because, while we would get a lot of numbers and probably a lot of very precise numbers, I’m not sure they would be very accurate, and third I’m not sure they would be an advantage for us to have.”
Winders didn’t recommend the board pursue GASB 34 compliance. He said there would be no penalty for GASB 34 non-compliance, unless Vandalia was a larger city issuing a large amount of bonds. He said non-compliance would negatively affect bond ratings and, therefore the interest paid on bonds.
The board unanimously approve Vandalia’s financial statement for the first six months of the year, which will be published in The Vandalia Leader.
Chief Water Plant Operator Darren Berry presented an update on the water plant conversion.
He said a pre-bid meeting was held in the first week of October with two new contractors along with contractors who have previously bid. Official bidding for work at the water plant opened October 15.
Berry said the main accomplishment at the plant was the installation of the basin covers with little issue. The covers, an alternative to constructing a building over the basins, keep contaminants out of the basins.
Alderman Ron Stallcup mentioned the City of Vandalia’s goal to improve the overall looks of Vandalia.
“As you drive around, you begin to see yards that have a lot of accumulation of materials that in my opinion, we need to do something about,” Stallcup said.
Winders said efforts have been made to clean up such matters.
“The ones you notice are the ones that are not yet in progress or that are not yet done. You don’t notice the ones that are done or have significant progress. If someone has something specific, you turn it into the Police Department or City Hall,” he said. “Progress on abatements is always far more slow than it seems to me they should be.”
He noted that a report will be made available at the next regular meeting to show the city’s progress in the area.
Winders reported he expects Laddonia will pursue a police contract with the Vandalia Police Department.
Winders said a contract needs to be drawn that is mutually acceptable to both Vandalia and Laddonia
He said progress on the combined YMCA/library lacks a necessary commitment from the Rual Morris Foundation, which is holding up  the city’s application to the Neighborhood Foundation for funding.
“At this time, there needs to be additional study and work done” on the project, he said.
Winders also reported the city’s work with MFA on storm drainage on Washington Street between Vine and Lincoln may be finished this fall if necessities for the project come together.
On Tri-County Park, Winders reported that the cracks in the trail are not structural but due to moisture. He added that the commemorative structure at the park will soon be complete.
“It should be a nice improvement,” he said “We expect (the structure) to be complete in the next 30 days.”