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Local News

  • HMG claims city breached contract

    In responding to the lawsuit filed by the city of Vandalia on a project in the western Interstate 70 interchange, its consulting engineering firm claims that the suit should be dismissed because the city didn’t comply with a contract signed for the project.

    HMG Engineers of Carlyle responded last week to the suit filed last month in which the city seeks a judgment of $361,370.18. The city alleges that the engineering firm was negligent in preparing plans and specifications for a boring project.

  • Downtown project off to a good start

    At the first merchants meeting held since the start of Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project, the general contractor heard a concern about people being able to get to downtown businesses.

    And a representative of that firm reiterated to the merchants that it will do everything possible to allow for access to every downtown business throughout the construction process.

  • Fillmore Street improvements out; Coles Street in

    Two weeks ago, the Vandalia City Council approved the use of federal stimulus funds to build new sidewalks between Vandalia Community High School and the Kaskaskia College Vandalia Campus.

    Subsequent to that April 6 meeting, city officials learned that they would have to go with its second option for the $210,978 in stimulus funds

  • School district focusing on new teaching practices

    After hearing several groups of teachers report on their efforts to incorporate Standards Aligned Classroom teaching practices, the Vandalia Board of Education discussed a number of personnel issues in a two-hour executive session on Tuesday.

    The district began the SAC program last year, and Superintendent Rich Well said that more teachers will be trained each year. “It’s our goal to get all our teachers through the program,” Well said. “It meshes well with our curriculum mapping, and we feel it’s been very beneficial.”

  • AT&T finally adds 911 surcharge

    Fayette County residents who have landline phone service through AT&T were expecting the surcharge for Enhanced 911 to begin showing up on their bills as early as last December … or January … or February.

    The surcharge began showing up on the most recent AT&T bills, and residents were surprised to see about $30 added to their bills for E911.

    The members of Fayette County’s Emergency Telephone Systems Board discussed the surcharge billing at their monthly meeting last Thursday evening.

  • TIF committee recommends funds for seven projects

    Vandalia’s Tax Increment Financing Committee is recommending to the city council that it use the limited TIF monies now available to help fund seven improvement projects.

    The TIF Committee decided on Tuesday to recommend several smaller TIF grants and to allow a property tax benefit for two of the seven projects.

    The committee voted to endorse TIF grants for:

    • Thompson’s Home Center, $7,500

    • Dr. Mark Brunk, $7,500.

    • Fred Metzger, $1,554.

    • The Leader-Union, $2,630.

  • VCC warden terminated

    The Illinois Department of Corrections on Wednesday terminated the Vandalia Correctional Center warden who has been on administrative leave for more than two months.

    Derek Scnhapp, a spokesperson for the IDOC, said early Wednesday afternoon that Steve Mensing's termination had become effective that day.

    Mensing, who has served as the warden of VCC since the fall of 2004, has been on administrative leave since late January.

  • Gottman wins third term; Tish, Deal win Brownstown, St. Elmo posts

    Rick Gottman garnered two-thirds of the vote on Tuesday in winning a third term as Vandalia’s mayor.

    But residents of Brownstown and St. Elmo decided it was time for a change, unseating their incumbent leaders.

    In Brownstown, Billy “B.J.” Deal defeated incumbent Chuck Fitch in the village president’s race, and in St. Elmo, incumbent Jayson Porter was beaten by challenger Larry Tish.

  • City OKs change order policy for downtown project

    The Vandalia City Council voted on Monday to give the mayor, city administrator and director of public works the authority to approve minor change orders for the downtown improvement project.

    But not without considerable discussion.

    Mayor Rick Gottman submitted the request to allow him, City Administrator Jimmy Morani and Director of Public Works John Moyer to handle minor change orders in the two-week periods between council meetings. In presenting the request, Gottman told aldermen that it was up to them to set the monetary limit on change order approvals.

  • Gottman wins; St. Elmo, Brownstown get new mayors

    Rick Gottman received two-thirds of the vote in gaining a third term as Vandalia's mayor. But the incumbent mayors in Brownstown and St. Elmo were defeated.

    Also in Tuesday's election, the consolidation of the St. Elmo and Brownstown school districts was approved in St. Elmo, but rejected in Brownstown, meaning that the measure failed.

    Gottman received 886 votes, easily outdistancing his two challengers, Neil Clark (299) and John D. Wehrle Jr. (156).