After hearing from Randy and Mark Trautman in person, the Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen seemed open to the brothers’ request for the city to take over a short road on their commercial property east of Valle Springs Park.
The Trautmans are selling off company assets and would like to have issues of road maintenance and access to buildings settled before putting the property on the market.
The subject was discussed at a June 11 work session, but neither brother was able to attend and the aldermen opted to table the issue.
Last Thursday, both were able to attend the work session and explained their goals. Randy Trautman said he is 68 and his brother will be 67 and are looking to scale back their operations.
“We’re looking at selling our plant out there,” Randy Trautman said. “Basically the address is 805 Moreau Street, but it backs up to Valle Springs Park. We’ve got some people interested in that plant. There’s another building there that we own. We’ve got Ste. Gen. Manufacturing, that’s owned by a real estate company. We’ve got those two companies there.”
He said there has been talk about adding a couple of additional buildings.
“The thing that came up was basically maintenance, quite honestly, on the road, who would be responsible for it and how it would be divided up.”
He said they have paid $65,000 in taxes to the city over the past decade from those two buildings.
“So, I feel like we’re not trying to get something that we don’t deserve, that we haven’t in a way paid for or contributed to.”
For the street to be taken over by the city, a cul-de-sac, or turnaround area would have to be built at the end.
Trautman said he wanted to gauge the board’s interest in the project before investing money in the turnaround.
“We’re not even positive if that’s something we’ll be able to do, anyway,” he said.
He also noted that a hole by the road, mentioned in the Herald, was there because the city had repaired a water line, but had not repaired the area.
He said the deal is still “up in the air.”
City administrator Happy Welch explained that the request would have to first be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission then returned to the aldermen, if approved and that he wanted to test the board’s willingness to look at the project first.
“If the board’s going to deny it, I didn’t want to waste the time of Planning and Zoning,” Welch said.
At the previous work session, it had been stated that the one expense the Trautmans wanted the city to cover was core drilling to test the base beneath the street.
Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan brought that up Thursday.
“I don’t know that that would be a good use of city taxpayer money with us paying for that,” he said. He noted that developers generally take care of fees like that.
Ward 3 Alderman Mike Raney asked Donovan if he was specifically objecting to the city paying for the core testing. Donovan said he was. Trautman said he would be glad to cover the core drilling.
Donovan also had a concern about the size for the cul-de-sac, since tractor-trailer rigs would need to turn around there. Trautman assured him it would be big enough.
Mark Trautman said the road was probably paved with chip and seal about 1990. They said the base under the road is very good.
“We knew we were going to have heavy trucks out there all the time,” Randy Trautman said, “so there’s a lot of rock.”
The subject of a walking trail and donation of some land to be added to Valle Springs Park also came up.
“The goal – and this is something that Dad had mentioned one time, years and years ago – that it would be neat if there were a trail from Valle Springs Park all the way over to Valle Springs [Estate].”
He admitted that a couple of areas would be rough for walking, but that much of it would be ideal.
“We can’t do anything with that property,” Randy Trautman said, noting that the retention pond near Eric Scott Leathers needs to be mowed.
Ward 2 Alderman Michael “Buck” Jokerst asked how many acres they were talking about donating. Randy Trautman said probably 14 or 15 acres.
Donovan expressed support for the proposal.
“I think, because of the possible jobs situation with businesses back there, we provide roads for the rest of the businesses in the city limits,” he said. “In my opinion, it sounds like they’re willing to work with us and even donate some additional property to us. I think it’s a good deal that we take it over. It would solve the fence issue and everything else.”
The Trautmans had said the Valle Springs Park fence appears to be on their land.
“If you take the road, it automatically becomes city property,” Welch said. “There is no need for an adjustment on the fence, since it is city property.”