VANDALIA – The Vandalia City Council approved their own truck traffic study on Monday night to get “strategic recommendations” on how to combat the growing semi-truck traffic on National Road.
LBJ, Inc. was granted a contract in the amount of $17,970 to study the specific nature of the truck traffic, including what companies are using National Road between the Airport Access Road and I-75. City leaders hope to develop strategies to discourage trucks from using National Road and instead divert them to the Airport Access Road.
Residents and council members have grown weary of the noticeable increase in trucks through the heart of Vandalia over the past two years. Signage has proven ineffective and has not provided a noticeable difference.
Council’s impatience with the issue has been growing and that was evident when they asked City Manager Jon Crusey how soon LBJ would start the study.
“They are ready to go,” said Crusey, who indicated he would contact the firm Tuesday morning.
The Hot Air Balloon Lounge received narrow approval for a covered patio at its location at 400 E. National Road. The ordinance passed its first reading 4-3 with Council Members David Lewis, David Gerhard, Bob Ahlers, and Mike Blakesly voting Yes and Richard Herbst, Candice Farst, and Mayor Arlene Setzer voting No.
Blakesly said he approved the idea because it “concentrates all (outside) activity in one place.” Lewis agreed while saying the location was a “horrible place for a bar.”
Herbst voted no because he believed the patio would “encourage smoking and drinking outside.”
The measure will come before council again on November 21 for its second reading.
Council also passed a resolution declaring Vandalia a Bee City USA.
The declaration is a joint venture with the Historical Society of Vandalia-Butler which, according to Crusey, “endorses a set of commitments for creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet.”
In other measures, Council approved:
- The purchase of a portable air compressor for the Public Works Department at a cost of $22,650.
- The purchase of 13 Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers for use as mobile data terminals in the Police Division’s vehichles.
- A contract with the Midwest Sculpture Initiative for the curation of an eight-piece sculpture exhibit at the Vandalia Art Park in 2017. The cost of the contract is $14,000.
- A rezoning of a parcel at 335 S. Dixie Drive from Residential Multi-Family to Neighborhood Business to accommodate a drive-thru and more off-street parking at Warehouse 4 Coffee.
- A summer meeting schedule for June, July, and August.
The Vandalia City Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. A work session will be held prior to the meeting at a time to be determined. Both meetings are open to the public.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.