The Vandalia City Council held a TIF work session prior to its full council meeting on Monday night. Three applications for TIF funds were discussed during the session with two approved to go to the full city council for a vote during the April 16th meeting. After a short discussion, the council approved to send the application from Justin Durbin for work on the building at 101 S. 5th Street to the full council. Work included in the application will be on the south and west walls of the building including tuckpointing, repairing cracks, joints and deterioration in the brick as well as staining the south wall when restoration work is completed so that it will match the other brick on the building. Alderman Andy Lester stated he is usually only in favor of awarding TIF money in the amount of 25% of the project but said with this project, he was proposing TIF funds covering the entire scope of the project be covered at a cost of $48,600. Alderman Steve Barker seconded the motion with aldermen Russ Stunkel, Mike Hobler, B. John Clark and Kenneth Hubler also in favor of having the full council vote at the next meeting on providing 100% of the project cost.
The second application discussed which involved the majority of the meeting’s discussion was from Dennis Grubaugh for repair and restoration work on the east wall at 507 W. Gallatin Street. The wall has been a hot button topic of discussion with the council for a couple years now since the demolition of the buildings at the corner of 5th and Gallatin. The two bids for the project came in at just under $227,000 and $233,000. Alderman Lester stated he would like to look at the possibility of a different to fix the wall. It was agreed to by the six council members in attendance to table the application for the time being while information is sought on other options.
The third application looked at during the work session was also from Grubaugh, for work on the old Ben Franklin building at 425 W. Gallatin Street. Alderman Hobler questioned if any TIF work had previously been done on the building to which City Administrator LaTisha Paslay and Mayor Rick Gottman stated that they did not believe there had been. Following discussion, a motion was approved to send the matter to the full council to vote on April 16 to award $26,000 for the project which is just shy of 50% of the total projected cost of just under $54,000.