Aldermen Approve Engineering Services

By ERIC X. VICCARO

eviccaro@stegenherald.com

The Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen recently asked Bacon Commercial Design to sharpen its figures for architectural and engineering services.

It’s a case of “ask, and you shall receive.”

The Board of Aldermen during a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 23, approved both the first and second reading of a reworked number for said services in the amount of $7,400 for Phase One of the City Hall/police department remodeling project.

The new figure came in $1,500 cheaper.

The measure (Bill No. 4395) was approved 6-0, with Ward 4 Alderman Joe Prince absent.

Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan attempted to log into the special meeting through the Zoom teleconferencing application; however, he was unable to do so, and his vote was not recorded.

The following alderpeople attended the meeting through Zoom, in part due to concerns over the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic: Ward 3’s Mike Raney, Ashley Armbruster of Ward 4, Ward 1’s Susan Johnson and Jeff Eydmann of Ward 3.

Along with mayor Paul Hassler and Bacon Commercial Design architect Steven J. Bacon, Aldermen Gary Smith (Ward 1) and Buck Jokerst (Ward 2) were present live from City Hall.

An engineer will work on plumbing, electrical and mechanical plans for the police department remodel first — along with architectural plans congruently, city administrator Happy Welch explained.

Welch said the comprehensive process will last five weeks, and final plans are expected to be approved at the first regular aldermanic meeting in January 2020.

The police department remodel will be expansive in scope, with chief Eric Bennett and Lieutenant Jason Crump having private offices — along with the sergeant, corporal and detective. The remaining six squad members will share office space.

The updated facility will feature an interview room, evidence room and a staircase leading to the basement. It also will have a break room, rooms for servers and utilities and a restroom.

There will be a separate entrance to the council chambers, with two more restrooms.

A separate entry for the Board of Alderman meetings was seen as a “safety need.” This will serve as the new public entrance for gatherings.

The Ste. Genevieve Police Department doesn’t handle its own dispatch services, rather it runs through the 911 center in the St. Francois County community of Park Hills.

COVID-19 DISCUSSION

After talks regarding architectural and engineering services wrapped up, there was a board of aldermen communication segment dedicated to COVID-19.

Hassler said he attended a Ste. Genevieve County Commissioners meeting last week, and there were discussions on whether to have a mask mandate here.

“There is no way to enforce it,” Hassler said. “That was a stumbling block. However, the county highly recommends them.”

Ste. Genevieve County has been looking to guidance from other counties, including Franklin.

Interestingly enough, the Ste. Genevieve High School boys’ basketball team will be participating in a tournament in the Franklin County community of Sullivan.

City Hall and the police department have been recently impacted by the virus; however, Welch said “all shifts have been covered.” There also is “mutual aid” help from the county department.

It was reported water and sewer department visits are now “by appointment only.”

There was a request granted for the city’s coronavirus proclamation be pinned to the top of the government site’s Facebook page.

There’s the possibility future Board of Aldermen meetings may have Plexiglas drops in use.