Halloween Parade canceled

A popular late fall event that draws hundreds of people to downtown Vandalia is the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vandalia Lions Club has canceled its annual Halloween Parade, Mayor Rick Gottman said during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Gottman said that Lions member Bette Stolte, who schedules area high school bands for the parade, informed him of the cancellation.
The decision by the Lions, who have sponsored the Halloween Parade for 76 years, comes after Centralia canceled this year’s parade.
The cancellation of the Halloween Parade was announced as the council discussed setting this year’s trick-or-treat night in Vandalia.
At Gottman’s recommendation, the council agreed to table that issue, with the mayor saying that the city is awaiting word from the Illinois Municipal League on whether to hold trick-or-treat night.
He said that Springfield has already canceled its trick-or-treat night.
At this time, Vandalia’s Olde Tyme Christmas is still a go.
The council voted on Tuesday to ask the Illinois Department of Transportation to close Gallatin Street (Old U.S. Route 140) from Third Street to Sixth Street for the event, which is scheduled for 3-10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13.
Olde Tyme Christmas continues into the next day.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
• The council approved the installation of stop signs on both sides of Rock Island Avenue at St. Clair Street.
• The council approved the hiring of Cody Meyer for a position at the city’s water plant.
• The council approved an ordinance allowing the city to seek reimbursement for protective measures it has taken at city properties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• The council approved the inspections of the Thrill Hill bridge and Vandalia Lake dam.
• The council approved increasing the penalty fee range for water service system violations – such as tampering with meters or turning on water after a disconnection – from $75-$500 to $150-$750.
Gottman said that the factoring into that decision is the city’s increased costs, including taking violations through the court system.
• The council approved the transfer of Vandalia Lake lot No. 44 from Kyle and Heather Blackerby of Herrick to Nelson Donaldson of Altamont.
• The council approved a lease agreement with Hosick Motors for a car to be used by city employees.
The city is paying $493 a month under the 39-month lease for a 2020 Jeep Cherokee Latitude.
The council had earlier approved a lease agreement with Arthur Young Inc., Gottman said, but it was subsequently learned that General Motors no longer does lease agreements.
• The council approved the purchases of a mower and trailer for the water plant.
The city is buying a Kubota mower from Bluff Equipment for $12,500. Midwest Tractor submitted a $12,532 bid for a New Holland mower.
The council approved the purchase of a trailer from Mid-State Camper Sales for $1,759.50.
Rural King submitted a bid of $1,599.99, but the Mid-State Camper bid, Gottman pointed out, includes licensing fees.
• The council approved an engineering agreement with Roepke and Niemerg Tree and Conservation Service for such services as marking harvestable timber, creating an inventory and logging contract and providing management of tree program for Vandalia Lake and Fairlawn Cemetery.
• The council approved the $60,962.32 bid of Haire Plumbing and Heating of Okawville for the sanitary sewer replacement project related to the expansion of Octochem.
The Haire bid was the lowest of four bids received by the city.
• The council observed a moment of silence for: David Kayser, father-in-law of Alderman Russ Stunkel; Betty Miller, mother of city employee Ted Miller; and Joan Hendrickson, mother of Mayor Rick Gottman.

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