Vandalia will revise ordinance on modular, manufactured homes

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

The city of Vandalia has decided to revise its ordinance governing the placement of manufactured homes after hearing from a family that lost its home to a fire in January.

The Jeremy Beck family has been told by the city that it cannot, under the current ordinance, replace its burned out home with a manufactured home at the northeast corner of Sixth and Garfield streets.

City ordinance, according to City Administrator Jimmy Morani, allows the placement of modular homes anywhere in the city, but restricts the placement of manufactured homes in certain areas, particularly in areas north of Jefferson Street.

At Mondays city council meeting, the family asked why the city allowed a manufactured home at First and Washington streets, even though that area is not properly zoned for that use.

City Administrator Jimmy Morani explained that the building permit for that home had been properly issued, and that he did learn of the error until after the issuance of the permit.

To tell someone to remove their house after they bought it is a pretty big deal, Morani said.

Several aldermen expressed an interest in revising the ordinance governing manufactured homes as quickly as possible, to accommodate the Beck family, but Mayor Rick Gottman said that because of legal requirements on ordinance amendments, such a change could not be put on the books until June 2.

Morani will be meeting with Brad Boley of Boley Homes and Kevin Satterthwaite of Pine Ridge Homes to work on revisions of ordinances governing modular and manufactured homes.

Also at the meeting, the council approved the issuance of a taxi cab license, but did so only after the matter had been tabled earlier in the meeting.

The license application submitted by Mike Cunetto was tabled after Mayor Rick Gottman announced that City Attorney Jack Johnston needed to review state statutes governing taxi cab licenses.

Cunetto left the meeting at that point, but returned later and then asked during the public participation section of the meeting why his request was being tabled.

He maintained that he has been given state approval and met all other requirements, but cannot begin operating a taxi service because the city is delaying action on his request.

Johnston said that he has probably not ever looked at state laws on taxi licenses in the past 30 years, and needs to review those laws before he verify that Cunetto meets all requirements.

After Cunetto continued to voice complaints about the delay, the council voted on the recommendation of Alderman Larry Cable to approve Cunettos application, pending Johnstons review of his paperwork.

In other action on Monday:

Bill Flowers of New Wave Communication, the provider of cable television service to Vandalia residents, reported that the company is still planning to enhance its services locally, but that its plans have been delayed by poor weather.

Flowers said ice, snow and cold temperatures have prevented the company from completing its upgrades in the Fairfield and McLeansboro areas.

Once the work is done there, he said, New Wave will concentrate on improvements in this area. Those improvements will include telephone service, high-speed Internet and additions to its channel lineup.

The council approved the hiring of Marty Huskey as the superintendent of the citys water treatment plant.

Huskey, who has been worked for the city for almost 18 years and with the water department for about 10, succeeds Bob Dowell. Dowell retired in March after about 17 years with the city and about 12 as the water plant superintendent.

Ward II Alderwoman Barbie Elliott announced her plans to resign from the council this summer. She said that she will likely serve on the council through July.

Cable reminded residents that the citywide Cleanup Week is May 12-16. During that week, city residents can put out unwanted larger items out with their regular trash on their regular trash pickup days.