Council OKs road closures for Wine & Ale

The Vandalia City Council agreed on Monday to close two downtown streets for a larger edition of Wine & Ale with Abe.
But, city officials said, they will have to get permission from the state for the closure of one of those streets.
The council approved closing Gallatin Street from Third Street to Fifth Street and Fourth Street from Main Street to Johnson Street on Saturday, Sept. 28.
Vandalia Historical Society President Susan Williams and Amy Gaffney of Blind Society were at Monday’s council meeting to explain their requests.
The society’s Wine & Ale with Abe event was held on the grounds of the Vandalia Statehouse the first two years, and Williams and Gaffney said it was time to move the event because of its growth.
“As it keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger,” Williams said, “we need a bigger space.”
She said the event drew 450 people the first year and 900 people the second year, and they hope to draw as many as 1,200 people this year.
The event is slated for Saturday, Sept. 28, from noon-8 p.m. and will include food vendors and musicians.
The current plans call for six bands to perform in the 200 block of South Fourth Street and to use Charters Patio area as the bar area.
Gaffney said that musicians scheduled to perform include John Spicer; LS Express, with Vandalia natives Drew Sheafor and Jesse McClary; and folk music performers.
Mayor Rick Gottman told Williams and Gaffney that the city has to receive permission from the Illinois Department of Transportation to close Gallatin Street for the event, and that he would contact IDOT officials on Tuesday.
Also at the meeting, after holding a public hearing on the on grant application, the council approved a resolution in support of a grant application for an expansion of Octochem.
An application will be submitted to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs for a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant.
Those grant funds would be used for 1,878 linear feet of a roadway “to aid in the expansion of Octochem.”
The roadway will go from the intersection of U.S. Route 51 and Payne Drive to Wagner Street, then down Wagner to the southernmost entrance of Octochem.
The city would contribute $140,739 from a capital fund for the project, and $613,535 would come from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Octochem is planning to invest $5 million for a 70,000-square-foot warehouse, and has certified that the expansion will create 40 new jobs.
Also at the meeting, the council held a first reading of an application for a Class A liquor license for 8th Street Venue, the event center being created at 1405 Veterans Avenue.
The request filed by Brian and Nancy Oberlink will be voted on at the council’s July 15 meeting, and as the city’s liquor commissioner, Gottman, will act on the license application.
Also at the meeting:
• A moment of silence was held at the start of the meeting for Lisa Earnest, who formerly operated Vandalia Bowl with her husband, Larry.
Earnest was one of three people killed in an eight-vehicle crash on Interstate 24 in Massac County over the weekend.
• Gottman reported that he was interviewed last week for the position of first vice president on the Illinois Municipal League Board of Directors and that the full board will now vote on his promotion from second vice president.
• Gottman reported that a public meeting on the 99-year lease lots on Vandalia Lake will be held in the near future. That meeting, due to the size of the anticipated crowd, will be held somewhere other than city hall.


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