Council OKs documents for new elderly housing development

The Vandalia City Council approved on Monday two documents related to a planned housing development geared toward elder residents of the community.

The council OK’d a preliminary site plan and a preliminary plat for Glen Haven Subdivision, which is being developed by Kevin and Jessica Satterthwaite off of Locust Street, south of Fillmore Street.

The development will include seven single-family units and two duplex units, and Kevin Satterthwaite said those units will be for seniors who want living spaces with reduced maintenance but don’t wish or need to live in assisted-living facilities.

Both documents were approved in a 6-1 vote, with Alderman Larry Cable dissenting on both documents. Cable cited concerns about variances that allow for reduced setbacks on the lots.

Voting for the documents were aldermen Bret Brosman, Larry Cable, Lisa McNutt, Mike Hobler, Chad Feldpouch and Jerry Swarm. The eighth aldermanic seat, which was recent vacated by Ward II Alderman Barbie Elliott, remains unfilled.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the council – after a lengthy discussion – approved the purchase of two police squad cars through the state bid program.

The city received one local bid, from Arthur Young Inc., with the purchase price being $48,878 for two 2009 Chevrolet Impalas.

But Police Chief Larry Eason said the city can purchase two new 2008 Impalas for a total price of $38,473.32 through the state bid program.

Feldpouch lobbied for going with the local bid, maintaining that the 2009 models – due to new federal mandates – offer better mileage. The savings realized with vehicles that get 4 miles per gallon above 2008 models, he said, offset the money saved by going with the state bid.

“That would make it worthwhile for me to buy locally,” said Feldpouch, who ended up casting the lone dissenting vote.

Brosman said he also would like the city go with local bids whenever possible, but that the difference is purchase price is hard to overlook in this case – “$9,500 is $9,500.”

Brosman said that factors such as varying driving habits among police officers could limit the amount saved with cars that offer slightly better mileage.

One of the squad cars being replaced is 11 years old and is in need of transmission repairs estimated to cost about $1,200, Eason said. The other car is nine years old and has almost 100,000 miles of service, he said.

In other action on Monday:

• The council approved the transfer of Vandalia Lake lot No. 15 from Merle and Amy Denton of Brownstown to Steve and Laurna Knebel of Vandalia.

• The council approved the low bid submitted by Kidd’s Plumbing, Heating & Excavating of Vandalia for the replacement of a wood shore wall at the Vandalia Lake marina boat dock with a steel shore wall.

Kidd’s bid of $24,750 was one of two received by the city. USA Dock of Beecher City bid $33,805.

• The council approved an amendment to a city ordinance governing street and sidewalk use. City Attorney Jack Johnston and Mayor Rick Gottman explained that the verbiage was changed to reflect an ordinance amendment passed recently by the council allowing for hanging commercial signs in the downtown business district.

• Gottman said the city has been receiving phone calls from residents complaining about the lack of spraying for mosquitoes in the community. He reminds residents that the spraying is regulated by the Vandalia Mosquito Abatement District, not the city.

• Vandalia Main Street Program Manager Dana Whiteman reported that vandalism in Lincoln Park is continuing. Someone recently broke 25 spindles in the gazebo in the park, which is located in the 300 block of West Gallatin Street.

Whiteman said the Main Street Executive Board is considering some steps to address the vandalism.

• Whiteman also reported that Main Street has discontinued the Saturday morning country market, due to a lack of vendors. She said Main Street hopes to get the market going again for Corn Day and possibly some Saturdays prior to the Sept. 27 festival.

• Robert Scrimpsher, who operates a DJ system at Wiseguys, said the owners of Wiseguys and Thirsty’s are asking the city to consider allowing the two bars to allow a small-scale music festival outside in the 100 block of South Fourth Street.

They are asking for a variance that will allow people who purchase alcohol in the bars to take their drinks outside for the festival.

As is custom, Gottman explained, the city would delay action on the request until the council’s meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 2. That gives residents time to provide input on the request, he said.

•The council approved the rezoning of property at the southeast corner of Fourth and Randolph streets from general commercial to multiple-family residential.

Robert and Nelda Cearlock asked for the rezoning to allow for the construction of a residential facility for physically and mentally handicapped people.

• The council approve a change to the agreement between the city and the laborers’ union that allows city workers who are members of that union to take their birthday off before or after a weekend when the birthday falls on the weekend.

The council also approved a resolution allowing city workers who are members of the laborers’ and police unions to participate in an outside retirement plan.

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