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Local News

  • Action by Quinn restores some school programs

    Educational programs for preschool children, high school agriculture students and alternative education students were rescued from the budget ax this week as Gov. Pat Quinn restored some of the previously announced cuts.

    “Things aren’t as bleak as they were,” Vandalia Superintendent of Schools Rich Well said on Tuesday. “We’re slowly piecing it back together. The picture is better this week than it was last week.”

  • Sidewalks will have bricks

    The original plan for Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project called for brick pavers to be used to enhance the sidewalks. That plan was revised, with stamped concrete instead of brick, to cut project costs.

    But city officials have learned that it will actually be cheaper to use brick pavers for sidewalk edging and insets.

    And the advisory committee formed by Mayor Rick Gottman for the downtown enhancement project is hoping that the bricks used are ones taken from Gallatin Street.

  • VCC fight petitions being circulated

    As the fight to prevent layoffs at Vandalia Correctional Center continues, Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman is encouraging local residents to get involved.

    Gottman announced earlier this week that the city is providing petitions forms at city hall and numerous businesses that residents may sign. Employees at VCC also have petition forms, he said.

    The signed petitions will be passed on to state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), who will present them to Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois Department of Corrections Director Michael P. Randle.

  • City will begin repairing sidewalks

    For several years, the city of Vandalia has talked about improving sidewalks throughout town. The process of doing that has begun.

    The Vandalia City Council last week authorized city officials to solicit bids for a considerable number of sidewalk repairs.

    John Moyer, the city’s director of public works, presented to the council a list of sidewalk repairs to be done in the near future. Moyer developed that listed after being asked by Mayor Rick Gottman to drive through town and find the worst sidewalk problems.

  • City OKs more new water lines on Gallatin

    By now, you’ve probably heard a number of problems caused by state officials trying to finalize a new budget. As Vandalia officials worked on a significant addition to the downtown project, they discovered one of those problems.

    City officials decided that it made sense to replace an aging water main along Gallatin Street while the roadway was torn up for the enhancement project.

    And they were told by state officials that Vandalia stood a good chance of receiving Community Development Assistance Program grant funds to pay for the new water main.

  • Council OKs TIF agreement for Depot

    The family planning to revive The Depot restaurant and bar has had two parts of its funding packets approved within the past week.

    Four days after the Fayette County Board approved a $21,500 loan from the county’s revolving loan fund to the Truitt family, the Vandalia City Council approved a Tax Increment Financing agreement with the Truitts.

  • State cutting funding for schools

    Though the Vandalia Community School District finished the fiscal year in the black, the outlook for continuing funding from the state is decidedly gray.

    Superintendent Rich Well said Tuesday that the new state budget allows the Illinois School Board only half the funding it had last year. If those numbers hold, several programs may have to be trimmed or cut out entirely, he said.

  • ETSB selects addressing firm for E911

    The committee charged with overseeing the implementation of Enhanced 911 service in Fayette County has hired a firm to handle one of the first major steps in the implementation process.

    Fayette County Board Chairman Steve Knebel reported at the board’s meeting last Thursday that the Emergency Telephone System Board has hired The Sidwell Co. for the addressing work required for the county’s E911 system.

    That work will entail establishing addresses for all land in the county, including rural areas.

  • Downtown project still ahead of schedule

    Some local residents may have the impression that Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project is moving rather slow. Actually, however, quite the opposite is true.

    “We’re about five weeks ahead of schedule,” Terry Fields, site superintendent for Hank’s Excavating of Belleville, said on Wednesday morning.

    Fields and Lorne Jackson of HMG Engineers in Carlyle gave favorable updates on the project during Vandalia Main Street’s “Mornings on Main Street” meeting at the Fayette County Museum.

  • Local fight to save VCC jobs under way

    Shortly after the state’s top legislators worked with Gov. Pat Quinn on hammering out a new state budget, local legislators had no new information about proposed layoffs at Vandalia Correctional Center.

    State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) and state Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Highland) were among those attending a meeting last Thursday that was set up by Vandalia officials to develop a plan to fend off the proposed layoffs.

    After lawmakers continued their opposition to tax increases, Quinn said the state would begin the process of laying off 2,600 state employees.