When the Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen opted in April not to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on its proposed flood mitigation and recreational plan, the decision freed up about $827,000 for other uses.

The money was the center of debate by the board at its December 12 work session on capital improvements.

In the end, the board opted not to pursue any new capital projects until decisions are made on renovation of the Ste. Genevieve City Hall building, which has a leaky basement, an attic that has been termed a fire hazard and other issues. While it is also home to the city police department, the building does not have security measures similar to the County Courthouse designed to protect city workers in the event of an incident.

The work session in December saw aldermen ask several questions, trying to clarify what various fund balances were.

City administrator Martin Toma said during the work session that the city should finish fiscal year 2020 with $1.33 million in total surplus.

However, he was including $410,365 left over from sales of assets — most notably the Piva factory building.

See complete story in the January 8 edition of the Herald.