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All but one action item passed during Monday night’s meeting of the Vandalia City Council.
While the alderman mostly agreed on the other numerous items, the proposed ordinance amending the number of Class J Liquor licenses from four to six was rejected by a 3-2 vote.
Steve Barker led off the limited discussion on the matter, saying that with the two who applied for licenses, seven full time jobs would be created, with developers bringing new business and revenue to the city.
“Do we look like Vegas? No. No we don’t,” he told his council counterparts.
Councilman Russ Stunkel said that he had to follow what has been told to him by the public, and that overwhelmingly is that in reference to the slot machines, “Enough is enough.”
Even though Mayor Ricky Gottman is the sole authority when it comes to approving licensing, he has said at past meetings that he likes to let the council have their say through a vote on the matters.
When the time came for the vote, Barker made the motion, seconded by Bret Brosman, to adopt the ordinance increasing the number of licenses. However on the vote, they were the only two casting votes in favor of the measure, with freshman councilman Kenny Lewey, Ken Hubler and Stunkel casting “no” votes.
Other items on the board, which the council:
• approved a resolution providing for services from Hurst-Rosche, Inc. to inspect in-service bridges within the city. Bridges to be inspected are Jefferson, Sixth and Fourth streets over Town Branch Creek; and Coles and Fourth streets over the CSX Railroad;
• approved a transfer of a lake lot from Will Baldock to Leann Carson, of Troy;
• approved a resolution opposing Senate Bill 2298 which alters the some structuring of the Tax Increment Finance allocation act;
• adopted an ordinance which calls for a $200 licensing fee for watercraft of 226 hp or higher on Lake Vandalia;
• adopted two ordinances authorizing the sale of surplus real estate and property,
• adopted an ordinance changing the city clerk’s office hours from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., effective Monday, June 7, on a trial basis;
• approved an agreement between the city and South Central Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission;
• authorized the city to seek bids for Second Street Sewer Main Crossing replacement;
• approved the replacing of windows at city hall with Slack Glass Company, at a cost of $13,622.56;
• approved two charge orders and the final payment for the Watermain Replacement Project;
• approved a resolution making a Class 2 truck Route beginning at Route 51, and heading west on Payne Road to 572 feet south of the intersection with Wagner Street;
• authorized the seeking of bids for sidewalk replacement and St. Louis Avenue and South Eighth Streets. Lewey voted no on the measure stating that there is a resident who parks his truck on the sidewalk in that area, and it is against city ordinance to park vehicles on sidewalks, and
• approved two agreements with IDOT and Octochem, Inc.
Mayor Ricky Gottman asked the council members to provide the public works Director Marlin Filer with locations of sidewalks they feel need to be replaced so that a plan may be made. Gottman again stated for the public record that he was disappointed in the high gas prices in Vandalia, as compared to neighboring towns. He also reported that July 15-17 has been set as the dates for an Illinois Municipal League meeting to be held here. More than 50 municipal leaders and their wives will be attending.
City Administrator LaTisha Paslay reported nearly 800 clicks were counted for attendants to the Farmers Market and that the next one will be on June 12. She also reported that the 2024 Soroptimist Regional meeting will be held in Vandalia as well.
Gottman also announced that Atals 46 is very close to moving into their building.
The council also went into executive session to discuss 99-year lake lot leases, to review offers on property, and personnel matters and possible litigation.