Four-wheelers on dam, panhandlers discussed

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

When an alderman brought up a recurring problem at Vandalia Lake at Monday’s city council meeting, the city’s legal counsel suggested one possible way of addressing that problem.
Alderman Jerry Swarm said that when he and his wife went out to the lake area recently, he noticed four-wheelers tracks on the lake dam hillside.
Swarm asked what the city could do to address this issue, because driving vehicles on that hillside compromises the integrity of the dam.
Alderman Mike Hobler, chairman of the lake committee, said that everything that can be done has been done.
When Swarm suggested a fence, Hobler said, “They either cut the fence or go around it.”
When Swarm suggested putting up signs noting that it’s a violation of city ordinance to drive on the hillside, Hobler said that there are already signs posted.
City Attorney Jack Johnston then suggested one way of addressing the problem.
Johnston said it might be a good idea to ask nearby residents to notify the police anytime they hear four-wheelers in that area.
Anyone caught riding along that area could potentially be ticketed for trespassing on state-supported property. Violation of city ordinances is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Also at the meeting, Swarm complained about the return of panhandlers at Kennedy Boulevard and Veterans Avenue, and asked if there’s anything that the city can do about that problem.
Gottman told him that the city can do so by enforcing both a city ordinance and the Illinois Vehicle Code.