By ERIC X. VICCARO
Representatives from a mobile home park were present at the Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen meeting last Thursday.
Cara Naeger, with Ste. Genevieve Properties, and David Weiss – representing Gateway West, LLC – were available for questions regarding a special use permit for 205 South 10th Street, Lot No. 4.
Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan had the lone question during the personal appearance segment of the meeting.
Donovan asked the representatives to explain the ownership structure of the mobile home park.
Weiss, who made his comments through the Zoom teleconferencing application, and Naeger provided a brief answer.
Later in the meeting there was a second reading regarding that special use permit, which allowed replacement of a non-conforming mobile with a newer model.
The second reading passed by a measure of 5-1-1-1.
Donovan cast the lone ‘no’ vote. Ward 2 Alderman Michael “Buck” Jokerst abstained from voting due to a relationship with the property owner. Alderman Joe Prince was absent from the meeting.
Ste. Genevieve fire chief Ken Steiger was not present at the meeting; however, aldermen showed concern when told the volunteer roster is currently down eight members.
Ward 3 Alderman Mike Raney questioned Gary Roth, the city’s field operations supervisor, who also serves a member of the volunteer department.
“It’s high, but I don’t know if it’s an all-time high,” Roth said regarding the openings.
Roth said the department “has tried everything” to attract new fire personnel, including placing advertisements in the Herald.
It was noted younger personnel keep moving away for new jobs in other locations, which has hurt retention.
The minimum age to join the fire department is 18, and 21 to operate one of the city’s fire trucks.
Jokerst asked about the “availability” of members at all times, while Mayor Paul Hassler wondered aloud whether department firefighters could be paid some sort of stipend.
The department responded to 17 emergency calls in December, and 220 for all of 2020 – down 17 calls from 2019, as noted in Steiger’s written report.
Department members watched a training video
last month on firefighting foam, and the annual Winter Fire School in Columbia was switched to a virtual conference this year.
The base radio station went out at the fire house, and Steiger is exploring options on either repair or replacement.
In Roth’s report, he reported city workers have prepared the necessary equipment in case of winter weather. They also cleaned the last section of the drainage area in Pointe Basse and constructed five light poles for downtown.
Tourism director Toby Carrig’s report will be covered a separate story for the upcoming Jan. 27 edition of the Herald.
The board of aldermen approved the first and second reading for the purchase of nine new mobile data terminal docking stations with adapters and six keyboards for $12,135.
The Ste. Genevieve Police Department will use these new docking stations and keyboards. Money for the upgrade will come from the city’s general fund budget.
The board of alderman unanimously approved a waiver to R-2 general residential district setback regulations at 10 North Ninth Street.
Planning and Zoning approved this measure at an earlier meeting.
Property owner William Fischer, of Ste. Genevieve, stated in his application he wants to “improve the looks of the house and add a bedroom” to a rental property unit.
Alderman also passed the first reading of an ordinance – which is set to repeal Section 380.190 of the municipal code, regarding helmets for motorcycle operators.