City OKs TIF grant for pavilion at baseball/softball complex

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

The Vandalia City Council approved on Monday an agreement with the Vandalia Park District that will allow a local group to continue improving the local baseball and softball complex.
Through a Tax Increment Financing agreement, the city will give the park district a $5,000 grant, which will be used toward the construction of a pavilion.
The Vandals Sports Boosters and Field of Dreams Committee will build that 40-foot-by-30-foot pavilion in the rocked area between the baseball and softball diamonds at the Vandalia Community High School complex that now is used for parking.
The estimated cost of the project is $10,000, and once the pavilion is built, the sports boosters and Field of Dreams Committee will reimburse the park district for its $5,000 contribution.
Also at Monday’s meeting:
• Mayor Rick Gottman reported that the representatives of the Ohio group that purchased the Graham Packaging facilities on Imco Drive will be visiting Vandalia in the near future.
Gottman said he will be meeting with representatives of Premier Development Partners, and that the city will hold a reception for them.
The mayor said that he’s optimistic about the future use of the building, based on comments from the group’s representatives.
“They said that they plan to fill the building with jobs and not just flip it in the retail market,” Gottman said.
• The council gave permission to seek bids for a standard-cab, four-wheel drive pickup truck for the public works department.
Alderman B. John Clark, chairman of the streets committee, recommended that the city buy the truck, stating that the department currently has several trucks with more than 140,000 miles on the odometer.
The truck being replaced is a 1997 model with 155,000 miles on the odometer.
• The council approved the appointment of Kyle Barker to the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
• John Moyer, director of public works, told the council that if the winter continues to include snow and ice, the department could use up its budgeted allotment of salt.
“If we continue to have this kind of weather, we won’t have enough (salt),” Moyer said.
“We’ve had seven storms since Dec. 5; we had four last year,” he said.
Moyer said his department has used about 400 tons of salt thus far, and that he placed an order for more salt last Thursday.
• Alderman Neil Clark praised Alderman Jerry Swarm for his work with the National Road Association and at various festivals and other tourism-related events in Vandalia.
• The council observed a moment of silence for Ed Adermann, the former owner and operator of Higgins’ Cleaners, and the father of retired fire chief Merle Adermann.