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Commissioners, Schmieder Discuss Roads As Fall Approaches

By Mark Evans

Scott Schmieder, county road and bridge foreman, discussed the county’s fleet of dump trucks and the remaining summer road projects with the Ste. Genevieve County Commission last Thursday.

Truck No. 11, a 2005 International with more than 228,000 miles on it, will be scrapped to claim a second Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Grant this year. The county recently received $43,000 to go toward the purchase of a new dump truck after scrapping “Zero,” a 2003 International.

Part of the stipulation of the grant – aimed at putting newer, cleaner-running diesel trucks on the road – is that proof has to be shown that the  replaced trucks are destroyed A hole has to be drilled in the engine block and the frame has to be cut in half before the funds can be received. The county strips every usable part off the old trucks first, then is able to sell the rest for scrap.

Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson had Schmieder go over the mileage of the fleet.

Schmieder said that Truck No. 18, a 2016 Freightliner, has around 200,000 miles on it, while others are in the 164,000 to 190,000 range.

Nelson expressed fear that the grants are going to “dry up” in the near future and that the county needs to take advantage of them while they are available. The commissioners voted to  officially pursue the DERA Grant to replace  Truck No. 11.

“It’s almost like you need a new truck every year,” Nelson said.

The aggressive paving policy the county has had the past decade has led to a harder life for dump trucks.

“They’ll have a few more years of hard running,” Second District Commissioner Joe Gettinger said, “till you get the all paved.”

After that, the wear and tear on the trucks should reduce drastically.

They also discussed pursuing County Aid Road Trust (CART) funds from the Missouri Department of Conservation for Bidwell Creek Road and for enlarging the Pickle springs Conservation Area parking lot.

Meanwhile, Schmieder said that chip and seal patching was done on Dorlac Road and Sawmill Road. He also said Burks School Road repair was being wrapped up that day (Thursday) and that work was about to begin on Lawrenceton Cutoff Road.

Associate clerk Michele Gatzemeyer said she had received a complaint from a culler on Straughn Road, wondering why part of it is gravel again.

Schmieder said he had had to dig out a bad spot and would be repairing and patching it.

“You need to catch up on that before anything else,” Nelson told him, noting that they don’t want to leave jobs “90 percent finished.”

Randy Ruzicka, Republican candidate for Gettinger’s Second District seat, said people had complained to him about Gegg Road, wondering when it would be paved. Nelson said that Coffman Road will be next in that area.

Schmieder also reported that the Dodge dually (a pickup with double rear wheels) was in the shop after a noxious odor had started filling the cab.

Schmieder said his crew has also been mowing and using the Durapatcher to patch roads.