A big step was taken  on the road to opening a destination water park in Ste. Genevieve May 7.

Stakeholders and supporters gathered for the official groundbreaking ceremony on Progress Parkway across from the Ste. Genevieve County Community Center.

Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson gave a brief history of the project to those present.

He praised past members of the county library board for their role in breaking away from the Ozark Regional Library system. Former library board members Mary Jean Hoog and Bernadette Greminger were present, along with board president Cindy Nugent and current board member Mary Abts. Nelson said that former board members Ann Kettinger and Andrea Stolzer should also be recognized.

“In October of 2015, these ladies discovered that we were spending $500,000 in Iron County on a supplemental library,” Nelson said. “So they voted to break the contract with Ozark Regional Library and keep the money back in Ste. Genevieve to spend in our community. And they went through hell breaking that contract.”

He then described the April 2017 simultaneous votes to roll back half a cent on property tax earmarked for the library and to increase sales tax for the community center by one-half cent, making the water park possible.

He credited the library board for making that possible.

See more coverage in the May 16 edition of the Herald.