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Local News

  • Mayor, merchants talk about downtown project

    Two representatives of the city explained to a group of Vandalia merchants on Friday afternoon what they’ve been told about the lengthy closure of two block of Gallatin Street.

    Now, they’re hoping that the merchants will be able to hear from those who have direct control over the closure.

    Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman was accompanied by Public Works Director John Moyer at a noon meeting held at Something Special Florist.

  • FCH discusses future of ambulance service

    The Fayette County Hospital Board on Monday heard a presentation from the owner of an Effingham County ambulance service who plans to launch an ambulance operation in Fayette County this spring.

  • Fire destroys four downtown businesses

    A fire that was reported shortly after 1 a.m. on Tuesday destroyed four businesses in downtown Vandalia.

    The fire, which reportedly started at Cages in the 200 block of West Third Street, destroyed Cages, Donaldson Carpet, Gathe's Tax & Accounting Service, and Dennis Gerkin's State Farm Insurance agency. A fifth building, which houses Vandalia GMAC Real Estate, sustained some smoke and water damage.

    Firemen were still at the scene through Tuesday afternoon, and two investigators with the office of the State Fire Marshal were at the scene.

  • Friday-1 p.m.- City gets 4th Street intersection opened

    Vandalia officials have thus far been unsuccessful at getting the 300 and 400 blocks of Gallatin Street opened to traffic, but they have gotten the Fourth Street intersection reopened.

    Mayor Rick Gottman and Public Works Director John Moyer said the intersection would be opened up on Friday afternoon, making that announcement during a meeting they held with downtown merchants to explain the status of the downtown project.

    That intersection will remain open unless snow and/or ice would necessitate its closure.

  • No check, no word from Motown

    More than two months after agreeing to reimburse the city of Vandalia for a traffic study, Motown Technology & Sports Facility Inc. has not submitted that payment.

    And, Motown officials have not responded to recent attempts by the city to contact them.

    Motown and the city signed on Dec. 7 an agreement that gave the Michigan-based group six more months to provide the city with proof that it has financing for its proposed $300-million sports and entertainment complex.

  • Feldpouch, Morani resign on Tuesday

    The Vandalia City Council accepted two resignations on Tuesday night, and quickly acted to fill a vacancy created by one of the resignations.

    Chad Feldpouch, who has been a Ward IV alderman for eight years, resigned due to a resident's complaint about a conflict of interest.

    After accepting his resignation, the council approved Mayor Rick Gottman's appointment of Andy Lester to that Ward IV seat.

  • City administrator accepts job in New Baden

    The man who moved from Troy three years ago to serve as Vandalia’s city administrator has accepted a similar job that puts him back in that area.

    Jimmy Morani submitted his resignation to Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman on Tuesday, saying that he has accepted a job as city administrator for the village of New Baden. He will work in Vandalia through April 16.

  • Feldpouch resigns; Lester appointed

    A Vandalia aldermen known for openly voicing his opinion and asking questions resigned on Tuesday night, citing a resident’s plan to pursue a conflict of interest claim against him.

    And even after he resigned from his Ward IV seat, Chad Feldpouch asked a question about a pending city project.

    Right after the council accepted Feldpouch’s resignation, it approved local contractor Andy Lester as his successor.

  • School district prepares for action on Pre-K

    In a meeting that lasted only 50 minutes, the Vandalia Board of Education handled a short agenda, received updates from the principals of all buildings in the district and heard a report from Superintendent Rich Well about shortfalls in state funding that could impact several programs in the district.

  • Still no luck with opening Gallatin Street

    Several parties at Tuesday’s meeting of the Vandalia City Council volunteered to do whatever would be necessary to get the 300 and 400 blocks of Gallatin Street open to traffic while weather prevents work in that area.

    But, Mayor Rick Gottman said, it’s of no use – nothing can be done.

    “We’re tying to get it open, but it’s not worth it,” Gottman said.

    The council learned at its Feb. 1 meeting that it would be charged $3,870.33 each time that the two blocks are opened up while work is delayed because of weather.