Meeting for the first time in two months, the New Bourbon Regional Port Authority board passed a resolution to pursue federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for the Ste. Genevieve-Modoc Ferry.
The board met in person at the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission (SEMO RPC) office in Perryville on May 27, but no spectators were allowed to ensure social distancing. The meeting was carried on Zoom.com for media and other interested parties.
Margaret Yates, SEMO RPC grant specialist, reported that “just out of the blue,” a member of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) transit division called with some exciting news.
“Under this CARES Act, because of the COVID, they have additional funding available for ferries,” Yates said, “and they specifically, when they were planning out this money, put in $200,000 for New Bourbon and $200,000 for New Madrid.”
The funding is under section 5311, for assistance to passenger ferry operations. Yates said there would be no local match required.
“It’s for operating expenses, and it’s $200,000,” Yates said.
She said the port authority is required to put two public hearing notices in the paper. A public hearing had been planned for 10 a.m. last Friday at Ste. Genevieve City Hall.
“But, it said, and it was in the notice, that if no one puts in writing any questions or any comments, that a public hearing doesn’t need to be held,” Yates said. “I’m going to go up there just in case somebody comes.”
She said that was “the last piece of the puzzle” along with a resolution from the board making the port authority eligible to apply for the funds.
See complete story in the June 3 edition of the Herald.