County Commissioners Consider Various CARES Act Requests

By mark Evans

Ste. Genevieve herald

Dealing with entities interested in applying for federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security [CARES] Act money took up much of the Ste. Genevieve County Commission meeting last Thursday.

Sheriff Gary Stolzer’s requests for N95 masks and other personal protective equipment [PPE] for the county detention center, along with sanitizing supplies and materials for converting recreational areas into quarantine cell blocks were all approved.

Stolzer is instituting a policy of putting any new inmates in quarantine for two weeks to avoid spreading COVID-19 into the inmate population and the workforce.

The commission also approved a request by Prosecuting Attorney Wayne Williams  for special air purifiers to take germs out of the air in his office.

Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson asked if it had been in Williams’ budget. Williams said no. Nelson asked if it was  COVID-19-related. Williams said it was. He noted that there is “a lot of traffic” around his office and the upstairs courtrooms, with witnesses, jury members and others.

Nelson also called Dr. John Boyd, assistant principal of Ste. Genevieve High School, about the district’s requests. Boyd said they were waiting on the delivery of $6,800 worth of Chromebooks before turning paperwork in. Other supplies that are  coronavirus-related, such as  shoes, a dishwasher, a special water fountain and more. It was agreed that he should turn in half of the  invoices at one time and half later.

Family Dentistry of Ste. Genevieve also called, asking about CARES act money.

ELECTRIC POLE

WILL BE REPAIRED

The commissioners considered two requests from the county fair board. One was for lumber to repair bleachers at the tractor pull arena and the other was to repair an electric pole nearby.

The pole repair, costing $1,465 was approved.

“It needs to be done,” Nelson said.

The lumber, though, was put on hold. Prices had been obtained for yellow pine, to replace 40 rotting boards on the bleachers. They were $18.95 apiece, untreated, or $22.50 treated.

However, it was said that lumber on hand “had been picked over” and not much top-grade lumber was available.

“You’ve got to have good lumber if you’re going to build something,” Second District Commissioner Joe Gettinger said. He added that it would have to be treated wood.

Nelson agreed that the  work needs to be done.

“We’re responsible for the public not sitting on bleachers that collapse,” he said. “If we’re going to fix it, though, we need to fix it right.”

A wider search will be made for top-quality lumber.

TWO PROJECTS

MOVING ALONG

Two ongoing projects, meanwhile, seem to be making good progress. Nelson called Chris Koehler of Koehler Engineering regarding the repair work on New Bourbon Port Road. Koehler said the work “is basically done,”  with just  “a little cleaning up” to do.

The county had been trying to repair a straight stretch of the road, damaged by flooding for  some two years.

Meanwhile, $20,382 was received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] for 75 percent of the $27,176 projected price to rehab the Franklin Bridge.

The century-old bridge on Franklin Road on the outskirts of St. Mary currently had a three-ton weight limit and was in danger of possibly being condemned.

Its wooden deck has frequently been under water during flooding and had deteriorated.

The commissioners have visited the bridge with Jeremy Manning of Smith & Company Engineering and Chris Crocker of the Missouri Department of Transportation [MoDOT] to consider possible options.

They decided to go with steel grating in place of the  wooden planking. A water-proof metal could be  washed off after a flood event, without damage being done.

Pete Harnish, who has a machine shop in Ste. Genevieve, is fabricating some turnbuckle pieces and will order the grating.

The actual work will be done in-house by the county road crew.

The commissioners would like to see the weight limit increased so ambulances and fire trucks can cross it.