By Mark Evans
Ste. Genevieve Herald
As Summer begins to give way to Fall, the Ste. Genevieve County Road and Bridge Department is getting close to finishing the patching and repair jobs it wanted to get done in 2020.
The expectation of reduced fuel and sales tax revenue had led the County Commission to abandon its annual goal of paving 10 to 20 miles of gravel roads this year, early in the spring. Instead, patching doing some resurfacing has been the primary goal.
Scott Schmieder, road and bridge foreman, reported during last Thursday’s County Commission meeting on the progress.
He said work on Hager Road, Blum Road and Coffman Road was finished. He also said Holst Road would be completed later that day.
Meanwhile, Zerwig Road and Old Potosi Road were ready for patching the first part of this week, he said.
They also discussed Lawrenceton Cutoff Road, where mud has been seeping through the pavement. Schmieder said it would be about a two-week job to repair it. It was also noted that the road is a natural trouble spot, having been built above natural springs.
He also reported that the oil distributor was running again. It had broken down the previous week.
He also reported that the bed had been put back on Truck 11, a 2005 International. It is now the fleet’s oldest dump truck, now that “Zero,” a 2003 International, was scrapped.
Saddle Creek Road also came up. Residents of the road are interested in having the county take it over. Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson said there are simply too many issues for that to be considered. It has no base to speak of and no ditches, he said and is as narrow as 12 or 13 feet in some spots. It also dead-ends, with no turnaround area.
Roads have to meet county specs before they will consider raking them over. Otherwise, the county would have to outlay a huge amount of money to bring them up to grade.
SKID STEER OPERATOR NEEDED FOR PROJECT
The Workforce Development Board of Southeast Missouri had awarded a grant for cleaning up around the Riverside Levee. However, the individual who had been hired to operate the skid steer that had been provided to do the work, had received another job offer.
Two equipment operators are needed Nelson said the project is “at a standstill” without them.
“The money is there for it,” Nelson said. To qualify, they would need to either be unemployed, laid off or self-employed. Anyone interested should contact Chris Kertz, Levee District No. 2 president.
CHRISTIAN REPORTS ON TAC PRIORITIES
Drew Christian of the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission went over the Southeast Missouri Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC)’s list of prioritized projects for the county.
No. 1 priority is a turn lane at Highway 61 and Industrial Drive. It is listed as a “major safety” issue.
Christian also reported that MoDOT plans to resurface Highway 32 from Interstate 55 into the city of Ste. Genevieve and put rumble stripes from Highway 61 to Route N.
The commissioners passed along a complaint to Christian about the lack of shoulders on Highway C., the narrow nature of Highway N to Minnith and the intersection of 32 and Weingarten Road.
lArlene Davis of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) sent close-out documents for the repair project on the New Bourbon Port Road.
lThere had been 132 total COVID-19 cases in the county as of Thursday. Of those, 14 were active. There were also four probable cases.
lNelson said several requests for federal Caronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security [CARES] Act funding had been turned down because they did not qualify. He is checking requests with Schraeder to be safe.
lNo decision had been made on awarding the county license office contract.
lNelson left a message for Jeremy Manning of Smith & Company Engineering, regarding the submittal of final plans for the Progress Parkway crosswalk.
lShawn Long , Ste. Genevieve County Library director, is pursuing a grant to offer online tutoring for students struggling with virtual learning. The program would connect students with online tutors. Many of the tutors would be college students.