By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Improvements continue to be made at the county detention center. Sheriff Gary Stolzer reported on progress and expenditures to the Ste. Genevieve county Commission last Thursday.
Stolzer said he was taking some $34,000 from his department’s capital improvements budget to improves doors, locks and food passes [for sliding food to prisoners in their cells] throughout the building.
Meanwhile, a new recreation yard is being constructed to replace the two that are being turned into emergency holding cells.
The holding cells are necessary so incoming prisoners may be isolated for 14 days to prevent the possible spread of the COVID-19 virus. COVID funding the county has received will be used for that project and related safety features.
The kitchen is also undergoing some improvements.
Road and bridge foreman Scott Schmieder reported that the spindle on the John Deere boom mower needs replacing. He turned in a purchase order for $1747 for one.
“Things wear out,” Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson said. “Those take a beating.”
Meanwhile, Schmieder and the commissioners straightened out some confusion over which older dump truck to demolish to earn Diesel Emissions Reduction Act [DERA] grant money.
The county had applied for two different grants. They had been turned down for one, then were approved for the second. One had involved the replacing of a 2003 International and the other a 2005 model.
They wanted to be certain before either was permanently disabled. It was determined that the successful grant is for replacing the 2003 truck. Therefore the bed, which had been removed from the 2005 model, will be put back on and it will be used until An opportunity comes to replace it through a DERA or Volkswagen Clean Air Act grant.
The old truck must have a hole drilled in its block and its frame cut in half before the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission [SEMO RPC] can release the $41,000 in grant money to the county. Jeremy Tanz, SEMO RPC executive director, had said he would like to witness it.
Nelson on Thursday told Schmieder to be sure and take pictures of it before, during and after the procedure.
It was agreed that the commissioners and Schmieder would get out the following week and “look at some roads,” to determine which ones need patching or other repair work this summer.
Meanwhile, an asphalt wagon was delivered . The road and bridge crew will try it out for spreading asphalt on a trial basis before a decision is made on whether to purchase it. A demonstration for the crew was planned for Wednesday.
Brad Arnold, executive director of the Ste. Genevieve County Community Center, called the commissioners to update them on a few items. He said the center had bought a compact tractor. Nelson asked him if he had gone through the bid process. Arnold said he had received three quotes and would send the paperwork in.
Arnold mentioned that he expected a big crowd at the River Rapids Waterpark that day, with temperatures climbing into the 90s.
The waterpark is the latest project in the ever-growing community center complex, which has also seen the Progress Sports Center – completed in 2018 – Challenger Field and Braden and Friends Playground added to the regional 2000 building.
Nelson marveled on how it came to be, made possible by an endowment from the Bussen Estate.
“Marjorie Bussen, in 1996, an 80-something-year-old woman, saw the need for kids to have something to do here,” he said. “Imagine what it would be like without it.”
KLAHS GOES OVER
Third-grade teacher Debra Klahs, serving as interim principal at St. Agnes School in Bloomsdale, discussed safety measures being taken at the school.