Vandalia to change utility bills

VANDALIA — City council Monday passed a resolution to award a bid for utility billing to Smartbill Ltd. In the amount of $39,012 as the lowest and best bid.

“The finance department issued a request for proposals for a contract for the printing and mailing of our monthly utility bills, for disconnect and delinquent notices and our online utility billing services,” said City Manager Jon Crusey. “Smartbill submitted the lone bid of $39,012.82. Smartbill’s bid will result in an annual savings of approximately $5,000 compared to our current vendor. However, the cost for postage will increase by nearly $7,000 annually due to the increase in our bill size from a postcard to an eight-and-a-half by eleven.”

Crusey pointed out that the net cost increase to the water and sewer funds for this proposal is $2,700 annually. The city will also be requesting pricing for additional services for the printing and mailing of its federal forms and tax payer letter, which would result in an annual projected savings of $1,800 in the general fund.

“We could see some additional savings by giving the residents the option of having utility bills emailed to them, which would reduce our printing costs,” Crusey added.

Video of Monday’s City Council meeting is here:

Council also passed a resolution to award a bid for the water booster pump system project at the recreation center to Heeter Plumbing of Dayton in the amount of $14,490. Funds for the project were included in the city’s 2015 budget planning. Heeter Plumbing’s bid came in $506 below budget.

“This pump is original to the building and is leaking pressure as a result,” Crusey stated.

A resolution was approved to authorize Crusey to enter into an agreement to the option to purchase and real estate agreement regarding the former Morton Middle School site. The option to purchase the 9.92 acre site is set to expire December 1. RWS Torts LLC (Wright and Schulte) has requested a 90 day extension to allow additional time to complete its due diligence for the potential purchase of the property.

Council adopted an ordinance under emergency status to make appropriations for current expenses and other expenditures during calendar year 2016. This ordinance would adopt 2016 appropriations for the City of Vandalia. Council conducted four budget review workshops to review the proposed budget. Major changes include the creation of full-time fire captain position for needed supervisor responsibilities, the elimination of two taxation positions – one tax assistant position and one part-time position in the tax department due to the termination of income tax collection agreements by the cities of Union and Clayton and the Village of West Milton as well as the elimination of the city engineer’s position.

These duties would be contracted out to a private firm while some of the duties would be handled in-house.

“We put a lot of effort into this budget, and we put a lot of effort into every year,” said Councilman Dave Gerhard. “We learned a lot about each department, more so probably than any other year. Everyone is really working hard to make the most out of what we have, and this year we had to make some hard decisions to let some people go, which is a first, but it just shows that we are trying to do the right thing for the citizens and to keep our service level as high as possible.”

Council adopted an ordinance to approve a major amendment to the Planned Unit Development for property located at 1625 Fieldstone Way. On behalf of Manufactured Assemblies Corporation (MAC).

The amendment calls for consolidation of two lots into one 7.99 acre lot which would expand the approved boundary to the east. At its October 13 meeting the Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the amendment with the following conditions:

• The applicant must apply for a separate zoning permit for the parking lot expansion as required by City Code Section 1280.07 “Revision of Parking Lots.”

• Proper perimeter landscaping and screening will be required at the time of parking lot installation as required by City Code Chapter 1278 “Landscaping and Screening” and the Stonequarry Crossings Development Design Standards.

Vandalia City Manager Jon Crusey. City Manager Jon Crusey.

By Ron Nunnari


Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind