City finally gets final bid for Gallatin work

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

About four years after Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project was completed, the city has received the final bill for the project from the state.
“It’s a little over $1 million,” Mayor Rick Gottman told the council.
“We do have it, there is money in the bank,” Gottman said.
However, he said, a team made up of City Clerk Peggy Bowen, Executive Assistant LaTisha Pasley and City Treasurer Alyssa Matar is going through all of the project paperwork to make sure the city pays only what it owes.
Also at Monday’s meeting:
• The council revised its May 19 action on a lease car to be used by city employees.
At their last meeting, aldermen approved a bid from Hosick Motors for three-year lease with monthly payments of $207.87 for a 2014 Chrysler 200.
Hosick Motors subsequently learned that a three-year lease for that vehicle was no longer available.
On Monday, the council approved a second bid from Hosick, a three-year lease with monthly payments of $273.57 for a 2015 Chrysler 200.
Hosick Motors initially submitted lease bids for five vehicles, and Arthur Young Inc. submitted a bid for one vehicle.
Prior to the vote, Alderman Russ Stunkel recommended that instead of leasing, the city should consider buying a good used vehicle.
In six years (two three-year lease terms), you’ve paid a pretty good chunk of money and have nothing to show for it,” Stunkel said.
“For $10,000, you could buy a pretty good used car,” he said. “I think it’s something we should explore.”
Gottman said that the lease option is better for the city at this time because the lease covers regular maintenance “and we don’t have the cash now (to buy a car).”
Stunkel asked if the city has ever bought cars (other than squad cars), and Gottman said that they had, but “we got away from it because of the maintenance (costs).”
Alderman Andy Lester said, “I think what Alderman Stunkel has to say is worth considering, but we already did approve this, in a way.”
Alderman Jerry Swarm said that the city could “go with this and see what it will cost to buy (the leased vehicle before the three-year term is up).”
The vote was 6-1, with Stunkel dissenting.
• The council approved the sale of three old squad cars to Fritz Kraemer of Vandalia: 1999 Ford Crown Victoria, $871; 2004 Chevrolet Impala, $697; and 2001 Crown Victoria, $777,
• The council approved a bid of $5,499 from Bluff Equipment Inc. for a Cub Cadet tractor and mower for the water plant.
It was one of two tractors bid by Bluff Equipment.
Sloan Implement submitted the low bid, $4,499, for a John Deer tractor and mower, but water plant Superintendent Marty Huskey said that tractor does not have direct drive transmission, a feature that city workers prefer because of the hills that they mow.
• The council approved the annual prevailing wage rate ordinance, which stipulates that it will pay prevailing wages on public projects.
• The council approved the purchase of a variable frequency drive to replace the starter on the Randolph Street pump station.