By ERIC X. VICCARO
Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen discussed an extended agreement with Bacon Commercial Design regarding future remodeling of city hall and the police department last Thursday night.
Those discussions aren’t over.
City leaders agreed to a special meeting set for 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23, at City Hall.
The extended agreement was for $8,900 to cover architectural and engineering services for Phase One of the remodeling project.
Changes have been made since the original specifications were drawn by Bacon Commercial Design, a firm based in Crystal City.
City administrator Happy Welch reported the following changes during an interview with the Herald: moving bathrooms, an additional hallway, adding another restroom and a redesigned police squad room.
The city already has spent $13,000 on architectural and engineering services, as noted by Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan.
Donovan, who was the lone alderman to participate in the meeting via Zoom, said he wasn’t favor of approving the second reading.
“I’m against this,” Donovan said. “We are spending too much taxpayer money.”
Donovan explained he is for the remodeling project; however, the architectural fees were too high for his liking.
Welch said that for a commercial project such as this remodel, a city needs to have a “signed, sealed plan.”
It’s not recommended for this type of design and construction to be handled in-house.
Ward 3 Alderman Mike Raney said during discussions it’s not unreasonable to ask Bacon to sharpen its figures.
Remodeling both City Hall and the police department has been a project that’s been delayed time and time again, with issues ranging from wiring to overall accommodation space for staff.
After discussions during the upcoming special meeting, city officials may potentially approve the second reading — and the bid process could begin as early as December.
Welch said aldermanic meetings will remain in-person despite discussions during the meeting suggesting virtual gatherings through Zoom — in light of the persistent COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
“We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing,” he said.
Zoom participation from the public, even with a provided passcode and meeting identification number on agendas, has been nearly non-existent.
Welch also said he will continue examining possible alternative locations for meetings.
During field operations supervisor Gary Roth’s report, aldermen discussed city residents possibly blowing their leaves into the streets.
On Friday, the city put a notice on its Facebook page regarding the matter, and officials also approved a new open burning period.
“Leaves can cause trouble for homeowners, stormwater systems and water quality,” the Facebook post said. “The leaves can mat across the storm drain and block water flow, causing it to back on the street and possibly into nearby basements. … Increased runoff can cause flooding and erosion of stream banks, which results in more pollutants entering our streams and creeks.”
The open burning period will run from today through Dec. 31, 2020, allowing residents to burn their yard waste according to city regulations without needing a permit.
Ste. Genevieve also has a free yard waste disposal site on Division Street near the levee. You may also call city hall for a list of licensed lawn care contractors who could be of assistance.
Other action items
• During the consent agenda, city officials approved a resolution (No. 2021-12) allowing for a property maintenance agreement with Kevin M. Petty on city-owned flood buyout property.
Welch said Petty will help with upkeep at 501-503 N. Main Street as part of the agreement, signed by both Mayor Paul Hassler and city attorney Mark Bishop.
• City leaders approved both the first and second reading of a second change order with CE Contracting on a water main improvement (No. 20-8099) project for $52,407.30. The change order was for repaving Cedar Lane from Cherry Drive to South Fourth Street, Welch said.
• A second reading passed regarding the forthcoming April 6, 2021, general election.
Voters will determine as many as five alderman seats plus the position of mayor.