County Will Get Another DERA Grant For New Truck

By MARK EVANS

mevans@stegenherald.com

Ste. Genevieve County will be receiving another Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant to help pay for replacing an old dump truck.

Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson announced the news during last Thursday’s Commission meeting.

He also explained the grant to incoming commissioners Karen Stuppy and Randy Ruzicka, who were in attendance, as well as outgoing commissioners Randy Bahr and Joe Gettinger.

The grant is to encourage entities to replace aging diesel trucks with poor emissions standards with newer models that pollute the environment less. The grants pay 25 percent of the purchase price of a new dump truck, which Nelson explained, is generally in the $160,000 range, with bed and other accessories added. The grant therefore drops the price to about $120,000.

The only catch is a designated older truck – in this case, a 2003 model with nearly 300,000 miles on it, must be destroyed. A hole must be cut in the engine block and the frame must be cut in half. Photo or video documentation of the destruction is required before the money will be released to the county. The county, which would have already salvaged the bed and any other usable parts from  truck, is then free to sell the remains as scrap.

SCHMIEDER DISCUSSES GATE, EQUIPMENT

Scott Schmieder, road and bridge foreman, reported that the skid steer, which had been having issues, was “running OK” for the moment.

He said his crew was patching potholes and other tasks.

He also talked about a gate in the fence at the department road shed, which was damaged when a vehicle backed into it.

He got price quotes for new gates, ranging from $800 to $1,300.

He indicated that could just be fixed in-house. Nelson agreed with that idea.

“We have too much skilled labor [in the road and bridge department] to spend that kind of money on a gate,” Nelson said.

They also discussed the Commission’s annual Christmas gift to the employees, which is always some type of tool, accessory or clothing that would aid them in doing their job.

It was agreed that insulated reflective jackets would be the best bet. Schmieder said they would probably run about $79 to $85. After leaving, Schmieder later called in and said he had found ideal jackets for $72 apiece, after a 15 percent discount was applied.

DEADLINE CHANGESON CROSSWALK

Nelson discussed the crosswalk project at Progress Parkway with Dominic Thompson of Smith & Company Engineering.

The county was approved for a Transportation Alternative Project (TAP) grant from the Federal Highway Administration in December 2018, covering 75 percent of the project. The bridge and replacement of the city walking trail, damaged during community center construction projects, was originally  estimated at about $310,000.

Plans changed several tines, for a time including an elevated walkway with an elevator. The inability to find any American elevator companies that would certify in writing that the steel they used was made in the U.S., led the county to go back to a sidewalk and ramp plan.

The grant’s deadline for completion has been moved from Dec. 30, 2020 to June 2021. However, plans need to go to the Missouri Department of Transportation by March 2.