Vandalia aldermen adopt budget

Vandalia aldermen adopt budget
By: 
Elizabeth O'Farrell
Correspondent

By the end of the Vandalia Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9, the city had reviewed and approved the budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022, beginning March 1.

The detailed review of the budget by Darren Berry, the city administrator, covered item by item. He noted that “fund balances are strong and that we came out in the black this year.”

The city continues to look at capital improvements. Berry noted an expenditure of $12,197 for code book review and over $700,000 for electric conversion.

“That is our distribution system in town. We need to get that upgraded. We’ve slowly been building that fund for several years,” Berry said.

In addition, the city budgeted for bucket truck replacement, water tower improvements, and the apron at the city dam which was damaged by a falling tree.

“The water tower needs to be painted inside and out and have a little bit of concrete work done.”

The city is looking at telephone equipment upgrades, replacement of a 2007 administrative vehicle, replacement of a city truck, and replacement of the drive-thru window at city hall.

“That drive-thru window has been a godsend through this whole COVID pandemic,” Berry said. “It is used a lot and breaks a lot, and you can get no parts for it.”

He emphasized that work needs to be done on the firewall at city hall which Daffron, the software company, has recommended for several years. Storm sewer mapping would result in all utilities in town being mapped. Then Berry suggested a review of drainage issues.

The city will be working on 10 blocks of city streets at a cost of $1,000 per block, up $200 from last year. The increase reflects an addition of more oil and rock to help avoid cracking.

The Parks Department will replace two benches at the downtown park under the pavilions. In addition, they will build four competitive horseshoe pits on Jefferson to replace those which were removed from another location because of liability issues.

It’s not all about improvement. The city has budgeted $20,000 to help residents pay for demolition not included in a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) which has been applied for.

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