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Council has little to act on Monday

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

It took the Vandalia City Council only about 15 minutes to take care of pending matters on Monday night.
Action taken during the brief meeting included the approval of repairs to a sewer grinder pump at Vandalia Correctional Center, at a cost of $16,566.61.
The council also approved the $1,976 purchase of a truck hoist for a street department truck from BM Truck Equipment in Olney.
Also approved were the minutes of the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustments meeting on Jan. 30 and the Jan. 21 meeting of the council’s water and sewer committee.
The zoning board voted 4-0 to approve Louise Thompson’s request for a special use permit.
The permit allows Thompson to offer cosmetic and art tattooing at her business, Skin Deep Day Spa and Salon, located at 1702 W. Veterans Ave.
Thompson was required to ask for a special use permit because city ordinance prohibits a tattoo business within 200 feet of a church or school, and her business is only about 10 feet from a building housing alternative education programs.
The zoning board approved her permit at an earlier meeting, but at that meeting, board member Dave Hall abstained. It was later learned that a board member cannot abstain from a vote unless he or she has a financial or personal interest in the issue before the board.
The water and sewer committee voted at its meeting not to reimburse Kent Emerick for sewer line work at his residence on Second Street.
While the work was being done, it was discovered that Emerick was hooked to an older, private sewer line. He paid $1,065 for the repairs.
While denying Emerick’s request, the committee agreed that if Emerick agrees at some point to hook up to a city sewer line, it will deduct $1,065 from the amount he owes the city.
Also at the meeting:
• The council approved the purchase of a new phone and voice mail system from ProWire of Vandalia.
ProWire’s bid of $6,250 was the lowest of two bids received by the city.
The council also approved the purchase of a wireless headset and a battery backup system, with the total cost for the two optional items being $375.
The system now being used is more than 20 years old, and city officials were told that even if it could be repaired, it would be very costly to do so.
The voice mail system has not been operable since late December, according to Executive Assistant LaTisha Paslay.
• Mayor Rick Gottman reported that he will be sitting down with representatives of HMG Engineers of Carlyle to discuss the firm’s request for additional fees for its work on the streetscape project for downtown side streets.
• Alderman Neil Clark reported that a resident on North Eighth Street complained about vehicles with loud mufflers.
Clark said he passed the complaint onto the city police department.