Local News

  • City to bid two downtown projects separately

    Going against a recommendation from its consulting engineers, Vandalia officials decided on Monday to keep two aspects of a downtown improvement project separate in the bidding process.

    Lorne Jackson of HMG Engineers of Carlyle told the city council that while the firm initially recommended taking separate bids for streetscape and infrastructure improvements, it had recently changed its mind.

    HMG was endorsing that change of course due to the fact that the city had decided to downsize the improvements to water and sewer lines from about $2 million to about $100,000.

  • Vandalia council passes ordinance on right of way parking



  • Early voting numbers high

    In less than two weeks, Fayette County residents will be going to the polls to vote in local, state and national elections. A lot of residents, however, have already performed their civic duty.

    “They’ve been coming in in bunches,” Fayette County Clerk and Recorder Terri Braun said about residents taking advantage of the state’s early voting option.

    Unlike absentee voting, those casting early ballots are not required to give a reason.

  • County settles with insurance trust

    After two years of haggling, Fayette County is on the verge of breaking its ties to a group that formerly provided health insurance for this and other nearby counties.

    The Fayette County Board voted on Tuesday to give board Chairman Steve Knebel the authority to sign an agreement for a settlement with the Illinois Counties Insurance Trust.

    The county’s approval of that settlement will not become final until after the Coles County Board, one of three counties that initiated litigation against ICIT, takes action on the settlement proposal.

  • Only a few attend E911 public hearing


    public hearing held on Monday to educate Fayette County residents about the Enhanced 911 referendum on the general election ballot drew only several people, the majority of whom are already well educated on the emergency phone system.

    “It (the turnout) was quite disappointing,” Fayette County Board Chairman Steve Knebel said at Tuesday’s county board meeting.

    Knebel said he doesn’t know what the light turnout means, “but I hope it means that people have already decided to pass it.”

  • Law enforcement agencies join for CrimeWatchers program

    Law enforcement agencies in Fayette County are teaming up to reinstitute a program through which county residents get paid to help fight crime.

    But the program will be known under a different name.

    Fayette County had been a participant in the CrimeStoppers program, but the county lost its certification a couple of years ago through lack of activity.

  • SAFE holding purse fundraiser

    SAFE (Sexual Assault & Family Emergencies) is holding a purse fundraiser in conjunction with this year's Olde Tyme Christmas in downtown Vandalia, and it's looking for participation by area residents.

    SAFE is accepting new or slightly used purses and bags for the fundraiser, which will be held from 5-8 p.m. during Vandalia Main Street's Olde Tyme Christmas.

    Purses and bags may be dropped off at SAFE's three locations – Vandalia, 1410 Sunset Drive; Effingham, 1108 S. Willow; and Centralia, 730 E. Second St.

    For more information, call SAFE, 283-1414.

  • E911 public meeting is Monday

    A public informational meeting on the Enhanced 911 referendum that will be on the November general election ballot is Monday night.

    The meeting at 6 p.m. in the large courtroom at the Fayette County Courthouse is being held by the Fayette County Board committee formed by Chairman Steve Knebel to look into an E911 referendum.

  • City joins Fayette Water, OKs Relay for Life move to parks

    The city of Vandalia has decided to become a member of the Fayette Water Co., in order to use the rural water company’s product for its needs at the Vandalia Lake campground area.

    The city will pay Fayette Water Co., which is in the process of establishing service to rural residents in Shafter and Sharon townships, about $2,100, according to City Administrator Jimmy Morani.

    That amount will include the membership fee and the hookup fee, Morani said.

    Fayette Water will run a 6-inch service line to the lake campground area.

  • City committee backs off on parking plan

    A committee charged with the task of dealing with boulevard parking in Vandalia still wants to see problems related to that issue resolved.

    But the group of city alderman is, at least for the time being, is backing off on an earlier recommendation for parking restrictions.

    A couple of months ago, Mayor Rick Gottman asked the streets and sewers committee – Chairman Bret Brosman, Larry Cable and Chad Feldpouch – to try to come up with a way of resolving boulevard parking problems.