Mayor signs final documents for rail crossing work

Vandalia’s mayor said on Monday that he has signed the final documents for improvements at two downtown railroad crossings.
Rick Gottman said that in signing the documents for work being done at the rail crossings at Fifth and Sixth streets, he agrees that the city will be responsible only for the rail crossing markings painted on the streets.
Through the project, CSX Railroad will be installing new, state-of-the-art crossing arms at the crossings on Fifth and Sixth Streets. The crossing arm on the north side of Main Street at Sixth Street will be replaced by one that is just north of the east-west rail line.
The only other change is that Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets will be limited to eastbound traffic.
The improvements are being made in response to the car-train accident just prior to last year’s Halloween parade that claimed the lives of four Greenville residents.
The Interstate Commerce Commission and Illinois Department of Transportation initially proposed one-way traffic on Fifth and Sixth streets, as well as closing Main Street between Fifth and Eighth streets.
That plan was scaled back after a large group of local residents and business owners voiced their opposition during the meeting at which that plan was presented.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the council approved an ordinance reassigned the redevelopment agreement rights for the property housing the South Central FS Fast Stop Travel Center and Denny’s.
The rights are being transferred from Vandalia Green Energy (Charles F. Keller, manager) to South Central FS. Byron Sikma, chief operating officer of South Central FS, said that the cooperative has leased the property since it was developed eight years ago and that “it made sense to purchase it at this time.”
In other action on Monday:
• The council approved a contract with the Vandalia School District that allows city police to go onto school district properties to address loitering issues.
• Alderman Mike Hobler, chairman of the Vandalia Lake committee, presented to the council the committee’s decision to revoke lake lot No. 161 due to non-payment and failure of the lot lessee to respond to correspondence from the city.
• Gottman removed from the agenda the approval of bids for the replacement of the sidewalk in front of the three buildings at Fifth and Gallatin streets that were recently demolished.
The mayor explained that the work is being postponed, due to the settling of the ground on which the buildings sat, and that he, Public Works Director Marlin Filer and Alderman B. John Clark (chairman of streets committee) will come up with a temporary way of addressing the issue during the winter months.
• Gottman announced that he is having Filer seek bids for sidewalk improvements in the following areas:
-300 block of South Sixth Street.
-200 block of North First Street.
-1000 block of North Eighth Street.
-300 block of South Second Street.
-800 block of North Sixth Street.
-Sixth and Garfield streets.
-Marion Eye Center on Randolph Street.
-800 block of Lincoln Street.
-North Eighth Street, in front of Holy Cross Lutheran Church.
-400 block of South Seventh Street.
-200 block of Madison Street.
-200 block of Kennedy Boulevard.
-300 block of North Kennedy Boulevard.
-300 block of North Second Street.
The improvements to sidewalks within a city Tax Increment Financing district will be funded with TIF monies, and general fund monies will be used for the other improvements.


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