Vandalia recognizes Parks and Recreation Month

Vandalia Mayor Arlene Setzer greets children on hand for the City’s Proclamation declaring July as Parks and Recreation Month during Monday’s City Council meeting.

VANDALIA —Vandalia Mayor Arlene Setzer proclaimed July to be Parks and Recreation Month at the beginning of Monday’s City Council meeting. The proclamation was read to an audience of children who take part in programs in the City’s parks.

July has been designated as Parks and Recreation Month by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Setzer said that “parks and recreation programs are an integral part of communities throughout this country,” and “increase a community’s economic prosperity through increased property values.

Parks and recreation programs build healthy, active communities that aid in the prevention of chronic disease, provide therapeutic recreation services for those who are mentally or physically disabled, and also improve the mental and emotional health of all citizens,” she said.

The City also received a donation of $2,000 from the Vandalia Rotary Club during Monday’s meeting.

Mark Shepard, President Elect of the Club, said the check was to pay for the installation of an audio-visual system in the clubhouse at Cassel Hills Golf Course – the location of the club’s meetings.

Council also recognized the Vandalia Youth Theater which will be receiving a grant of $4,000 for its productions of The Aristocats, Shrek, and Mary Poppins. The Muse Machine was also recognized as the recepient of a $1,000 for its January, 2016 production.

Both grants were recently approved by the Cultural Arts Committee.

The Council also approved a contract with BR Mulch, located at 620 Ginghamsburg Road, that would allow City crews and residents to drop off leaves and brush beginning in July. The contract will cost the city $3,500 per year.

“Currently, the Public Works Department handles brush and leaves at least twice,” said City Manager Jon Crusey in his Friday Letter to Council dated June 12, 2015. “The items are collected throughout the year and stored on Miami Conservancy property south of Cassel Hills Clubhouse. A private contractor is then brought in during the spring to grind the brush and leaves into mulch at a cost of approximately $10,000. City crews then deliver mulch free of charge to residents.”

The contract will eliminate the need to handle the brush twice and, due to the closing of the North Transfer Station, make disposing of materials more convenient for City crews.

Council also approved the purchase of three in-car video cameras for the Division of Police at a cost of $15,901.45. The cameras will be installed on the department’s three new cruisers purchased this year.

An emergency ordinance was passed that authorizes the Miami Valley Communications Council (MVCC) to jointly negotiate a full service street lighting agreement with Miami Valley Lighting and DPL Energy Resources on behalf of the City of Vandalia and other participating cities.

The cities are currently in a contract that expires December 31 that is estimated to have saved the City $140,000 over the course of the agreement. The ordinance was passed as an emergency because the MVCC needs to have authorizations for negotiation by July 15.

Other items approved at the meeting included:

  • A bid in the amount of $28,000 to Combs Interior for locker room partitions at the Recreation Center;
  • A bid for refinishing the gym floor at the Recreation Center in the amount of $18,554;
  • A bid for the extension of Fieldstone Way in Stonequarry Crossings in the amount of $372,000;
  • A resolution authorizing a bonus for Crusey of 2.5 percent, or $3,000, based on a recently completed annual performance review;
  • A resolution to approve a new agreement with the Vandalia Professional Firefighters Association. The agreement covers four members, a Fire Code Enforcement Officer and three Firefighter/Paramedic/Fire Inspectors. According to Crusey’s Friday Letter, the agreement will provide a “2.5 percent wage increase effective January 1, 2015. The lone union member on the City’s Compensation Plan will be removed and compensated under the terms of the union contract – he will receive a 5 percent increase retroactive to January 1, 2015. All members will receive a 2.5 percent increase effective January 1, 2016. A 2.5 percent increase effective January 1, 2017 is contingent upon the parties reaching agreement on a physical fitness program. If no agreement is reached, the 2017 wage increase will also be subject to conciliation.” The agreement also sets a new hire starting rate of $17.25.
  • A resolution to enter a stop loss agreement with Standard Life Insurance Co. for the City’s health insurance plan. The agreement will raise the City’s deductible from $40,000 per member currently to $45,000. As a result, the City’s projected maximum plan costs will decrease by 3.2 percent, estimated at $2.39 million. The City will also offer Health Savings Accounts to employees beginning in January.

The Vandalia City Council will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 20 at 6:30 p.m. A workshop will be held prior to the meeting at a time to be announced. Both meetings are open to the public.