VANDALIA — The Vandalia City Council voted to accept City Manager Jon Crusey’s retirement and his rehire at its Nov. 20 meeting.
Crusey’s retirement will be effective November 30 and his rehire effective the next day.
Under the terms of Crusey’s new contract, his annual salary will remain at its current level, $120,000 per year, through January. On February 1, his salary will be reduced to $110,000 per year.
Crusey’s new contract is for a two-year period with an option for one additional year. The ordinance also authorizes a lump sum merit payment of 2% which is based on Crusey’s recently completed six-month evaluation. Crusey was not given a performance bonus at his last annual evaluation in April.
Council voted 6-1 to approve the ordinance with Mayor Arlene Setzer voting no.
Setzer said the no vote was not directed at Crusey, but instead reflected her long-standing opposition to retire/rehire.
“It is really plain and simple – I don’t believe in rehire after retirement,” said Setzer. “I’m not saying anything about where we are here in Vandalia, that’s just my belief.”
In other action, council approved the first reading of an ordinance that will create a conditional use for mulch processing facilities in the city’s Agriculture Zoning District. The action comes after months of deliberation during study sessions in which several Butler Township residents spoke against an existing mulch processing facility on Dog Leg Road.
Law Director Jerry McDonald reminded council that the ordinance is not site-specific – any operating facility in the city would still be required to apply for a Conditional Use Permit in order to operate within the city.
Some of the conditions required of a mulch processing facility include a minimum lot of 10 acres; grinding and equipment operation allowed only between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; adherance to all environmental regulations; adequate screening as a noise and visual buffer; an operational plan; and other requirements – all of which are subject to city approval for the granting of a Conditional Use Permit.
“After hours and hours of extensive review of the material, I am convinced that we have come up with a fair way to allow mulch processing in the City of Vandalia under stringent conditions,” said Council Member Dave Gerhard.
Council agreed with a 6-1 vote. Council Member Candice Farst voted no without comment.
Council also approved the second reading of the city’s 2018 budget. That budget includes a general fund appropriation of $24.269 million, $2.9 million in the Police-Fire-Street capital improvement fund, and just under $950,ooo in the city’s general capital improvement fund.
Changes from 2017 highlighted by Crusey were:
- Elimination of compensatory time payout for salaried employees and converting that earned time to flexible time off (flex time);
- The addition of three full-time firefighter and paramdedic positions while elminating three part-time positions
- Adding $5,000 to the Park Maintenance capital (Art Park) budget for 2018 for a total of $10,000;
- Adding $80,000 to Golf Maintenance capital budget for a total amount of $130,000 while eliminating $50,000 from the same fund in 2019 and 2020.
In other items, council:
- Approved the purchase of a LUCAS mechanical CPR device for the Division of Fire at a cost of $13,148. The Fire Division attempted to obtain grant money but was not successful. This is the second unit – the first was purchased in 2014 with a grant from Firehouse Subs;
- Approved an ordinance in its first reading that rezoned the Village Square Center along Helke Road from Residential Single Family (RSF-4) to Neighborhood Business (NB);
- Approved an ordinance in its first reading that would allow the Village Square Center to have its Planned Unit Development (PUD) ammended to allow for an increased number of land uses.
The Vandalia City Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. A study session will be held immediately prior to the meeting at a time to be determined. Both meetings are open to the public.
Reach Darrell Wacker at ((37) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.