City will pay for damages to downtown florist

The Vandalia City Council was asked on Monday night to take care of what city officials expect to be the last of unwelcome surprises related to the downtown streetscape project.

While tearing out the sidewalk on the south side of the 400 block of Gallatin Street, workers learned that part of the foundation of Something Special Florist was setting on that sidewalk.

“They tore out part of the foundation when tearing out the sidewalk,” Something Special owner Donelle Conaway told the city council.

If Conaway fixed the problem, Mayor Rick Gottman said, the cost would be $2,420. If the city agreed to take care of it, he said, the cost would be $4,110, due to the city’s obligation to pay prevailing wage rates.

After some discussion, the council agreed to have the city fix the problem, based on two factors.

“I can’t do it right now, because I don’t have the money,” Conaway said, explaining one of the factors.

The other factor is the city’s involvement in the work.

When City Treasurer Marjorie Blythe asked whether the city would completely fund the work, Alderman Dean Black said, “We were 100-percent responsible for tearing it out.”

Fayette County Construction will do the work, Gottman said.

Also at Monday’s meeting:

• The council voted to increase the number of Class E liquor licenses from seven to eight to allow for the sale of beer and wine at Craig O’s, a restaurant that will be opening soon in Vandalia Commons.

• The council approved the purchase of a 2010 4-by-2 International dump truck for the public works department.

The truck is being purchased from Prairie/Archway International Trucks for $68,331. The council recently approved a four-year, 3.25-percent loan with Midland States Bank for the purchase of the truck.

• The council accepted the low bid of $218,693.11 from Bruce Concrete Construction Inc. of Granite City for the resurfacing of Coles Street from St. Louis Avenue to the railroad overpass.

The bid is below the engineer’s estimate of $323,350 and slightly above the federal stimulus funds received by the city, $210,978.

• The council approved the transfer of $10,000 from the city’s general fund to the cemetery operations and maintenance fund.

• The council voted to send to the planning commission a request to rezone the Burtschi Subdivision, located between Eighth and Wagner streets, from light industrial to single-family residential.

• The council approved a resolution supporting National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.

The council observed a moment of silence for John Lester, who died late last week. Lester was a former merchant, city building code official and member of the Vandalia Volunteer Fire Department.

• The council approved an ordinance authorizing a right-of-way easement for Fayette Water Co. that will allow the rural water company to extend water lines to lake lot lessees in Vandalia Lake subdivisions.

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